You have undoubtedly seen many people’s reflections on 2020, I certainly have. But there have been a few that have moved me to tears, to quiet reflection, and to prayer. I will share some of those with you at the end of this blog. One of them asks what we learned from 2020. I find that to be a tough question. Here are a few things I think I learned.
We can’t depend on our own plans – Oh Lord, how many times do I have to learn this? (Please don’t answer that God!) This was another year where I had everything planned out. Plans for what I would do, how things would happen, and when things would happen. I wonder if God laughed at my plans? Almost nothing turned out according to MY plans. Yet, at the end of the year, I feel like God’s will was certainly active in my life and I found many blessings, even in a very difficult year.
There is a lot of our country’s sad history that I have never known – I have done a lot of reading this year and am planning more in 2021 about the racist history of our country and the terrible ways we have systematically and continually oppressed, and even killed, our Black brothers and sisters along with indigenous peoples and many others. This is hard to learn. It is difficult reading. I can only take so much at one time of hearing about how horribly we have, and still do, treat people. When I have had enough and can’t read any more because it is too depressing, I remind myself that I am only reading about what happened to someone else. What about those dear Black friends who have lived this horror every day of their lives? And I resolve to keep reading and keep learning. My 2021 resolution is to learn to be more of an anti-racist.
Relationships are life – One of the saving graces of 2020 has been finding ways to maintain relationships, even when we can’t be with each other in all our normal ways. We found ways to do what we could. Outdoor picnics with just a couple guests at a time, family and friends zoom conversations, and church fellowship time over zoom. I’ve even tried to preach with passion in an empty church with only an iPhone for a congregation. It has all been barely enough to get through the year, but I have learned again how precious relationships are, anyway that we can build and maintain them.
We will make it through – somehow the year is over and we are still getting along. If we can make it through 2020, maybe with God’s help, we can make it through whatever else life brings.
So I am hopeful—humbly hopeful. May God continue to have mercy upon us and guide us.
Now some sharing of cool things.
Here is a quote from Thomas Merton sent to me by my good friend, Corinne. From his book Raids on the Unspeakable.
Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for Him at all, Christ has come uninvited. But because He cannot be at home in it, because He is out of place in it, and yet He must be in it, His place is with those others for whom there is no room. His place is with those who do not belong, who are rejected by power because they are regarded as weak, those who are discredited, who are denied the status of persons… With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present in this world. He is mysteriously present in those for whom there seems to be nothing but the world at its worst. (pp. 72-73)
And here is a link to a wonderfully positive look back at 2020 sent to me by my good friend, Beverly.
And finally, here is a link to a 2020 tribute that I watch over and over. I find it very moving and I am sorry, I don’t remember now who sent this to me.
God bless you dear ones,