Photo by Dennis Buchner on Unsplash.

I have been thinking a lot about God’s love the last few weeks. Where is it when we need it? Where is God’s love right now in our country, in our pandemic, in our churches, communities, and families?

As I reflected prayerfully on this last week my questions were answered. There were many experiences of God’s love and joy. God’s love was in grandchildren throwing themselves into our arms nearly knocking us over with unconstrained hugs. God’s love was in the opportunity to work with Janet in recording videos for worship. I always experience God’s joy in contributing to our congregation’s worship. God’s joy was present in discovering new friends and common joys. This week it was a shared love of Henri Nouwen.

There is joy in doing some fall clean up in the yard, and completing a few house projects. Putting up Christmas lights and not falling off the ladder—now there is God’s love in action! I experience joy in walking and shuffling my feet through piles and piles of leaves. So far I have resisted throwing myself to the ground and rolling around in the piles, but we’ll see how long I can hold out.

These last two weeks I have had the immense privilege of making a number of pastoral calls as I stand in for our beloved Pastor Pam who is on medical leave. I have felt God’s love in every phone call and prayer. What a joy to pray with others, to be present even if it is over the phone. I must tell the story of a visit this week that almost brought me to tears. One couple asked if I could bring them communion. I agreed and figured out a strategy to do so in a safe and socially-distanced way. The couple lived in the same retirement center that my parents lived in for 12 years. I had not been back there since shortly after my dad’s death four years ago. Just pulling into the parking lot and walking into the building made me tremble with so many memories full of love. I met the couple and we shared communion and conversation in a room where four years ago we had a small buffet to recognize and thank my dad’s caregivers. In speaking the words of institution and sharing the Body and Blood of Christ I again felt Jesus’ deep, deep love and the joy of sharing communion together. My voice was shaky and my eyes damp as I experienced God’s love in that moment. I took a number of deep breaths and 360 degree turns to soak it all in as I departed the building. It was an absolute experience of God’s presence.

Where is God’s love when we need it? I need to remember that it is all around me. All I need to do is open the eyes of my heart and I will see it. I pray that you might see it too.

God bless you,
Coe