Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Pastors – Pastor Barbara of Holy Redeemer

“We look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:18[1]

Dear Church,

This image[2] captures the longing I feel to go….  To go somewhere, to see someone, or be somewhere…else.  I know I live with two dear friends I can talk to.  I know I can go outside for a walk.  I’m lucky enough to be able to call or FaceTime or Duos someone.    It’s even possible to see a group of people at once and talk together on Zoom.  But I want to go, to be free to just…go.

So, to deal with that longing I turn to what sustains me. There are things, as Paul tells the Corinthians, that are temporary, that “can be seen.”  These are the things we are used to hearing and seeing and touching and smelling and tasting.  At one worship service we experience all of those senses, in the sound of the piano, the sight of the children’s faces, the feel of a hug – a real hug – the smell of the wine, the taste of the bread.  My heart kicks into overload at the very thought, I miss it so.  I miss you so.

So, again, to deal with my longing I turn to what sustains me.  There are things, Paul tells the Corinthians that “cannot be seen,” things that are eternal.  Love, peace, grace, forgiveness, trust….   These unseen, eternal things rush into my mind and flood my heart as soon as I let them.  These words hold the intent of God for my longing heart.  And when I breathe these unseen things into my very soul, I am sustained where I am…for as long as I must, for you are still with me in my heart, and God holds us all.

Love in Christ,

Pastor Barbara

[1]Harper Bibles. NRSV Bible (Kindle Locations 55839-55840). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

[2]Photo by Joel Overbeck on Unsplash

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