Beloved Friends- Many of you know of my fondness for the writings of poet Mary Oliver. Today, she comes to mind again as I remember this line from her poem titled “Summer Day”:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

This past week Kim and I stepped away for a couple days to breath in the air up at our family’s farm homestead in the Upper Peninsula. And, as is often the case, whenever I can slow down long enough to let time enfold me as a friend rather than a foe, I am reminded of the deep wisdom and truth that can emerge.

Lately, the beauty of time has seemed allusive amidst our journey through this medical and now social pandemic. I have felt challenged to remember throughout it all that still we are called to recognize both the wildness and preciousness of each and every moment.

Of the many challenges the church as an institution is facing into these days, I believe we are also richly blessed with the kindness, compassion and love that binds us together creating a rich foundation for weaving our many “wild and precious lives” together along the way. For even in these weeks and now months of separation our willingness to connect to God and each other in new ways has surely woven us together becoming, in some ways, more together than we ever have been or could be alone; in short, we are indeed being born again as a new Body of Christ in and for the world.

Each of our lives is a brief moment on the continuum of eternity. The speed of life can’t be controlled, but lately, in between these sacred moments, I have found myself feeling so grateful for the brilliant companionship I have discovered along the way. I am giving thanks today for the wideness of God’s love and mercy. Each of you make me better, kinder, wilder, wiser, and I pray I might be able to do some of the same for you.

Today marks 117 days since we officially closed our building at the corner of St Clair and Adams. It is also the day I will mark as our start of doing something new with God’s help. Both have been challenging of course, but both have also brought us gifts in the form of new ways of living and loving as disciples, friends and followers of Jesus.

So as we continue to move through these beautiful simmer days I invite you to join me in paying close attention to God’s work in our lives as we ask “…what is it WE plan to do with OUR one wild and precious life?”

May you never forget that you are loved.

The Summer Day  – Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

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