I cut this little comic strip out of the newspaper a few months ago and added it to “my pile.”  “My pile” consists of the mail, saved articles, and scribbled notes on scrap paper that seem to accumulate throughout the week.  All these things seem important in the moment but mostly they get recycled, except for this comic.  I keep it because it makes me laugh. Two penguins with umbrellas, one on dry land holding it over his head, one in the water using it as a boat. Both say to the other, “you’re using it wrong.” I’ve been blessed to have some out-of-the-box thinkers in my life, problem solvers who have an eye for using ordinary objects in unusual ways to make life better. This comic makes me think of them, and reminds me that there isn’t just one way to approach life. 

In this time of waning covid, this comic also serves as a gentle reminder that as a community we are navigating this strange time in a variety of ways. It kinda feels like an “umbrella/boat” moment, where what works for one of us doesn’t necessarily work for someone else. Covid rates are going down, vaccination rates are going up, but we aren’t in the clear. There are those who, once vaccinated, headed back out into the world with very little fear. There are those who are operating out of abundant caution, choosing not to be out and about with lots of people. There are those who are eating in restaurants and those who are sticking only with their pod. There are those who are comfortable only outside and those who wish more people would join them inside. Friends, there is no one way to navigate this time. It’s tempting to see our own umbrella/boat as the right way, but how can it be when some of us feel like we are on dry land and others are deep in the water? Maybe instead of right and wrong there is just the complicated mix of  patience, permission to rest after a long haul, joy at new beginnings, and sighs too deep for words. Maybe there is just you, me, and everyone else who faced challenges and yet are right here, now. Maybe there is just thanksgiving for the grace that’s helped us through. 

Whether we have an umbrella or a boat, are on dry land or in the water, maybe the only way to navigate these days is with love. 

In Peace, Pastor Ruth

Let us pray:
Lead us, Gracious God, and shape us by the grace of Christ and the inspiration of your Holy Spirit. Open our hearts to expand our understanding of generosity and faithfulness, that we may grow in our ability to reflect your love and grace to those we meet this day. All this we ask in the name of Christ, Amen.