The Pandemic Wilderness


Taken at Rockwood Park

Fall is upon us and here we are stuck in another COVID surge. After our high hopes this summer, this surge really seems to be weighing heavily upon us. I know it has weighed heavily upon me, especially as I watch all the kids (including mine) and school staff struggle to make this work. COVID has affected our Westhunt family too as some have already had to quarantine. Our seniors have had to hunker down again because of the surge. We’ve all had to change and modify our lives yet again because of the pandemic. And it’s a real drag, isn’t it? Here we are dealing with COVID when we thought things were going to get better.

            All I can think about is the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for forty years. This pandemic has felt like forty years. It has felt like we are going in circles and we’ll never make it across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land. We’ve had moments of respite-like finding water from the rock. But ultimately we wonder when this trial will end. Will we ever arrive at a place of rest, a place where we don’t have to worry about germs and whether we’ll get sick. I know I’ve had these thoughts and I bet you have too.

            Here at Westhunt we are moving forward and focusing on the things we can do right now. We are meeting this Sunday after church to decide a few things about the building. We’ll need a new HVAC unit for the fellowship hall, we’ve got a plan for the sub pump and we need to cut down a dead tree. Our fall planning team meets this week and we’ll look at an outreach event and some fellowship events for the fall. We’re going to find a way to serve the community and also spend some time with each other. Our communications team is beginning to update the church website. Barry is preparing more music to share by video. 

            It’s a challenging time, but also a time to be creative. What can we do to stay connected? How can we serve the community? For the last 18 months Westhunt has been able to do these things and we’ll keep doing them. We’ve had to figure it out, and we will keep figuring it out as we go. We all knew that the pandemic would take a while, but I think we didn’t know how much a toll it would take. It’s been a lot.

            When things were tough in the wilderness, Moses would turn to God. Moses is famous for being the one who knew God face to face. It’s those face to face encounters with God that kept Moses going for all those years. God’s presence is what sustained him. And it’s true for us too. God is still with us and God will see us through this, even when we are tired. Even when we fear what will happen next. Even when we can’t see the future. God will walk us through.

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