Tuesday, April 28 2020
The Monday after Easter I felt the need for a little more and lit a candle in the rear of the sanctuary. As I put a match to the candle I thought of those who had died from the virus, grateful that as far as I knew none of our own had been among them. May it remain so. Our lives go on quietly, and quite differently, and yet the connection continues through the internet, Zoom, and the telephone. I am in the building at odd hours, trying to minimize contact with others, but I see our efforts on Facebook and Vimeo, and I know that bible study continues on Zoom and that members are reaching out to each other on the telephone. It's not the same, but it shows how we still care for one another, how we continue as best we can in adversity.
It's tricky at times. We have to stay a safe distance from each other and limit how many people are present. It requires planning and cooperation and discipline, along with considerable patience with the technical demands of sharing worship on the internet. Cables and cords snake out across the sanctuary floor, various connections have to be made, things have to be relocated to allow us to stay safely apart. Before Easter the altar was moved up two steps to make more space. Now I see it is back in its customary position. I helped move it up, but how it came back down is a mystery.
Every day brings surprises. Just yesterday as I was blowing off the sidewalk along Capitol Way I noticed flowers at the base of the shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe. At first I thought they were artificial flowers, but upon closer inspection they turned out to be fresh, placed there recently. What secret visitor had put them there? I asked Michael, our new Curate, but he didn't know. It is yet another mystery, a private act of devotion by a member of Iglesia Episcopal de San Juan.
This year's Easter Vigil brought surprises, too, combining Fr. RC's chanting in the darkened sanctuary with recorded readings. Our friend Fr. Evan was one of the readers; as he read his dog wandered in front of the camera, adding a grace note that confirmed my long held belief that God has a sense of humor.
And so we persevere, doing what we can. Of course I'd rather see things back to normal, the building packed with people and bustling with activity. I wouldn't mind cleaning up a big mess in the Parish Hall, or wiping up squashed cake from the floor and mopping it clean again. In fact I would be delighted to haul out buckets full of green waste and recycling and trash. I know it will happen, I just don't know when. For now I will continue to clean and disinfect, water the plants, and encounter the various mysteries that enrich my days.
And each Wednesday I shall light a new ambry candle, knowing that one day it will welcome us home.