Today’s Author: Julene Hawkins

The last few days I have been feeling under the weather as I recover from the side effects of my third COVID vaccine. I am usually not one to react to vaccines, but this time my body needed extra sleep and a reset. As I have been taking some extra time to recover, I have been reflecting over the pandemic and how grateful I am for science and the health and safety of myself and my loved ones. I want to share with you part of a reflection I wrote for my campus ministry newsletter back in March of 2020: 

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

On a zoom call earlier this week with wilderness canoe base—my potential summer employment, pandemic permitting—we were asked to answer where we have seen hope lately. Not feeling particularly hopeful at the time, I said I see hope in the new life budding outside. Reflecting more on my answer after the fact, I realized that like plants we have the opportunity to have our own new life as we emerge out of this time of dormancy. I pray that when it is finally safe to be in community again, that we embrace each other with open arms and hearts. I pray that we continue to take time to rest, to connect with one another, and to be grateful for all that we do have, rather than fixating on what we don’t. I still struggle with moments of grief, loss, and loneliness, but I am grateful that God has shown up for me in rest, love, safety, health, and in and through all of our essential workers. And while this pandemic continues to negatively impact the most vulnerable and marginalized, I pray that God leads us to the injustices of our neighbors so that we may rise as a community. Peace be with you. 

I never ended up working at Wilderness Canoe Base, however the theme of radical hope has renewed me even in some of the hardest moments of the pandemic. I finished out that summer and next fall as a nursing assistant in a memory care facility. Then, in December I moved back to Minneapolis, took my nursing certification exam, and began working as an RN at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. My hope remains the same and I see it working through the mission and goals of Prince of Peace. I hope that as we emerge from this pandemic that God allows us to reconnect and renew our relationships with each other and to lift one another from the injustices we face. 

God of healing, you know our pain, struggles, and grief. Allow us to come forth in community, stronger than we were before. God, be with all those who are grieving the loss of loved ones to the pandemic. Be with those with disabilities, immunocompromised, and those without access to life saving measures. We pray for the global community with less privilege and access to vaccines and preventative health care. God we pray for all those who have been struggling with the social and mental disconnection from their communities and those that are unable to or afraid to find support. Healing God, you know where we are, allow us to continue to hope and dream about renewed life. Amen.

“Mid-week devotions are authored by members of our community.  If you are interested in creating a trio of reflections to be shared on an upcoming Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday contact Pastor Peter.