Our news is filled with disaster and sorrow – floods, earthquakes, murders, deaths, economic anxiety, political and religious conflict, and any other problem you might care to name. Once in a while, the human factor is glimpsed: the genuine sorrow of a mourner, the brave smile of a person enduring, the determination to overcome odds, relief at a better outcome than expected.
For the most part, however, we are permitted to see only the shell of an event or story. In that way we can keep our distance and remain a dignified detachment. To do otherwise might overwhelm us, and we would risk becoming prisoners of our own fears.
Jesus reminds not to fear but to have faith.
There is no need to keep our distance, to button down the feeling part of our humanity.
No matter how difficult the circumstance, God promises to be present. No matter what it might look like, we make the claim that God is with us. At times, such a claim may appear to border on ridiculous. It may seem that God is more absent than present, especially when we find ourselves embroiled in the midst of something, rather than at its conclusion.
It remains true that Scripture is the story of what we understand about what happened, after it happened. Scripture witnesses to the faithfulness of the God who does not abandon us, the God whose love for us is so great that even the hairs of our heads are counted and the seas of life made calm.
We resist fear, for we are people set free to care because we are cared about.
It is through that same sharing and caring for those around us that God’s presence is made real for us, and it is how love multiplies until it fills all the earth.
The Rev. Susan N. Eaves