June 23, 2020
Finding Comfort

by Dennis Barger
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”.
Matthew 11:28
Let’s face it, our world is changing. Whether it’s COVID-19, racial injustice or the polarization of politics, we are seeking answers and comfort from the storm. I don’t proclaim to have answers, in fact I’m more confused than most. Living in a sheltered, quarantined space, we spend our days trying to understand the latest news and looking for the new “norm”.

For me, music is a reprieve from the surrounding realities. It has been an important part of my life since childhood. Listening to a song from the past is like reconnecting with an old friend. Each song is packed with the emotions and images that occurred when you first heard the song. One voice from the past is singer/songwriter John Prine. His music has had a lasting effect on me, souvenirs of memories. In his song "Souvenirs", he states:

Memories they can’t be boughten.
They can’t be won at carnivals for free.
Well it took me years to get those souvenirs.
And I don’t know how they slipped away from me.

John Prine recently died from COVID-19. His legacy remains as a collection of images from the past. An old friend that is available in songs and memories. Contemplating his death, I’m reminded that COVID-19 can affect all of us, including family. What is concerning to me at the moment is how to help family living far away in a quarantined world. As parents, we want to protect our children. Medicine for the fevers. Blankets for warmth. And words of assurance for the future. Sometimes it’s the parents who need the words of assurance. In Matthew 11 verse 28, Jesus proclaims:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me;
for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Hearing the fears of family members and not being able to physically help is troubling. Relinquishing control of the situation is difficult. All that is left are the words of assurance that give us faith everything will be okay.
Dear Lord, thank you for your support and comfort. Living in a quarantined world of uncertainties, we struggle with faith, hope and recognizing you are in control. We want to physically fix problems but can only speak. We don’t know if our words provide comfort or further highlight the distance. All we can do is have faith and live by your words of assurance knowing that you have a plan. Amen
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com