My wife and I recently drove west, toward the Shenandoah mountains, to enjoy the beautiful early Autumn weather and the scenery.
On our return, we stopped at the parking lot of Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville to stretch our legs and admire the architecture. Tacked on a wall near the church entrance was the following appeal to people of all faiths, as we collectively work through the pandemic:
- May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.
- May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.
- May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health and paying their rent.
- May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those children who will go hungry with no school meals.
- May we who have to cancel our trips remember those who have no place to go.
- May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.
- May we who settle in for quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
- As fear and divisiveness grip our country, let us choose love.
- During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us find ways to become the loving embrace of God to our neighbor.
This community of faith is not exactly a poverty-stricken rural parish. I was therefore especially moved by the words on the slightly weathered sheet of paper reminding me to be mindful of the needs of others.
When things are not going well for me personally, I become upset with the world around me and complain – under my breath or to whoever will listen. The above phrases remind me, however, how fortunate I am. My personal “woes” are mostly self-centered and trivial in view of the realities faced daily by the women, men, and children alluded to above. I must not forget them in my haste to serve myself.