An Observation of Love By Vanessa M. Konkol
I knew there were services being broadcast today. Last weekend, when my family was stuck in Colorado, with flights cancelled, I sat in a hectic and shoulder-to-shoulder airport and glanced through my email. I saw the email from AHUMC about the live broadcast. It stayed with me this week, I suppose, as a quiet undercurrent beneath the deluge of seemingly unending chaos. The week progressed in a dreamlike slowness, along with a soundtrack of silence; airplane traffic overhead ceased, cars stopped going places, the sound of children’s sweet voices stopped calling from outside, clouds loomed heavy with rain and cold, and the very Earth seemed to soundlessly weep with rain. We each have our stories of how we are processing shock and horror previously unheard of. In an unfamiliar and curious new pathway, linking arms with those we love is taking on a remotely new normal.
As the weekend began, my heart remembered that services would be broadcast, and I told my family that we would be having church on Sunday from home. I explained we would hear the sermon on TV and read a Bible story together as a family. On Sunday morning, we roused in our utter lack of schedule or rush and I found my email with the link to the Sunday sermon broadcast. I texted the link and emailed it out to close friends and family and invited them to join us. Almost all responded with agreement, which was a hopeful gust. I went into my kitchen, we prepared a late breakfast, and I started brushing my daughter’s hair in the while she finished her meal. Then, the room flooded with worship music. I couldn’t contain my tears at hearing those voices shine through our home. I ran into the living room toward my husband, my children in rapid pursuit. We pulled up chairs right in front of the TV and listened. We soaked. I cried.
My daughter clapped that she was seeing her church on the TV. At the end of the first song, my baby signed the words “More, please! More, please!” And then, we sat as a family and watched, riveted to the words and the songs.
I am thankful for a church that cares too affectionately to go to this much effort to love me and my family. I am grateful to the Children’s Ministry Team, for sending me lessons and staying in touch with me, doing everything possible to reflect Jesus into the hearts of my children and my family, while we are physically and intentionally withdrawn from one another. I am in amazement at how the Sunday Sounds Children’s Choir Team is creating musical interactions and ideas I can implement at home so my children stay connected to their choir family. The adult choir is reaching me with musical exercises to keep us breathing in the breath of choral music to continue practice of staying musically fit.
Pastor Robert prayed about so many essential workers going to work and putting themselves at risk to take care of us. But, he didn’t mention the AHUMC pastors and musical teams standing together in unison behind him. I bless this team and this church and the myriad ministries showing up and risking and serving. I bless their voices, their creativity, their wisdom, and their actions. G-d is here and shining bright. I know, because when my entire family stood and recited the Shem’ah, and bowed heads to pray, and recited the Lord’s Prayer, and sang along with the worship band as the words scrolled across the TV screen, I recognized G-d’s Provision and Love. It literally shined on us, fully present, in our remote worship together.
Together is still happening, just redefined semantics.
We’re praying for you, AHUMC Staff. May your thoughts, your breath, your steps, continually be guided by the One we love and who loves us.
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