Dear CCOV Family and Friends,
If there is any silver lining in this age of COVID-19, it may be the time it has afforded us to tackle long-postponed projects around the house. For many years Clint and I have wanted to digitalize the thousands of photos in our old photo albums, which are bulky and heavy to move. My dream is to have our life’s slideshow playing on an endless loop on our living room TV screen one day soon. So, we began this long-term project a few months ago, and it has taken us on quite the trip down memory lane. Not only are we digitalizing the photos, but also old letters, report cards, and other remembrances.
I realized that I never threw a single letter or card out during my high school, college, and young adult years. I’ve recently re-read every last one of them and found that they (along with old photos) told a story about those years of my life. Fuzzy memories have grown sharp again. Friends who were almost long forgotten are once again at the forefront of my mind, and I found myself longing for them. Because of that, yesterday I reached out and called a friend I haven’t spoken to in years. She and I were neighbors and grew up together—we were even in each other’s weddings! I can’t tell you how heartwarming our conversation was—and how timely, as she had just been through some real health challenges and reconnecting meant the world to her. It felt so good to catch up and reminisce, and we vowed never to grow apart again.
As I’ve been preparing for Pastor Dick’s and my upcoming sermon series called “Really Bad Ideas Not Found in the Bible,” I’ve been reflecting on this bad idea: everything happens for a reason. Actually, Pastor Dick will be preaching on this half-truth the first Sunday in October. But here’s a sneak preview: While there is cause and effect in this life, COVID-19 did not happen for a God-ordained reason; moreover, God did not send the pandemic to punish the world. That simply is not good theology. What we do know is that suffering exists in this world for a variety of reasons (including ones of our own making), but God’s work is bringing us through, all the while strengthening our souls and growing us into God’s own image. Jesus showed us that all manner of suffering can be used to reorient and transform us. Knowing that, how about we all keep using this time to tackle things we’ve been putting off? Who knows, our projects may even lead us to the unexpected joy of reconnecting with someone who needs to hear from us!