Loss. I have been reflecting on loss these past months. I suspect each of you has experienced losses over the course of the spread of Covid19.

Losses are big and small. A phone call with my friend Gabriella affirmed something I already ex-pected, I will not travel to Italy this year. I miss my friends. I miss friends that live in Wilmington. I miss skating. All this feels like loss. Small ones? Maybe.

Some of you have lived through fear for family members. Some have lost loved ones. Fear can bring a loss of hope. Death brings the grief of loss. Big losses? Definitely.

There are lists we can make together of the losses we are sharing: first days of kindergarten, school sports, graduation ceremonies and parties, weddings, holding another’s new baby, backyard barbeques with friends, birthday celebrations. These are only few. There are more we could add.

Some losses are acute. The stress of families navigating work and children at home is huge. The loss of jobs or the risk of that loss is immensely difficult. The loneliness of elderly people who are isolated and must care for their health. The disorientation any of us feel when days run together.

Loss can dominate this time. For me, it is the little joys that provide hope and a light in the middle of darkness. A phone call with my friend Gabriella was a joy.  Seeing a person through their apartment window while talking on our phones was a joy. Grocery shopping in person, multiple trips to Home Depot, become simple joys.

We have lost big events. We have lost small events. I hope that you have found little joys that bring light to this tunnel of Covid19. This is a long- term event. There will be no fast solution. If you are struggling please reach out to helpers. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing depression. Contact me if you want mental health resources. If we are not a bit depressed, we are not paying attention to the state of our world. However, for some of you it may be more acute.

We are living in a wilderness and we do not know when we will be done with this time. Naming loss is healthy. Expecting there is also joy is hopeful. As people of faith we know that loss is met with new life. God holds us fast in this difficult time. God walks with us as we walk with one another. God has not left us alone in our loss. God holds joy and sorrow in one hand, blessing us with hope in the wilderness, with direction through it to a new place in a new day.

Pastor Linda Gunderson †
Senior Pastor

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