Friday, April 03, 2020

Sad silence at 3000 S. Park Avenue

I can’t begin to say how much I miss us all being together. I can’t say how much I miss my weekly routines.

I write this on Friday morning. My normal routine is to get everything wrapped up for Sunday which includes a trip or two to the auditorium to make sure all the technology for Sunday is in place.  It’s lonely and quiet in there on those Fridays, but I always leave with the anticipation that come Sunday the church will be full of people and noise!

These Fridays I leave the church building knowing that Sunday will be just like today—still and quiet. This building was made to be occupied. This building was made to be noisy. This building was made for gatherings. Large gatherings of loud people.

But Sundays have gone silent here at 3000 S. Park Avenue. Parking lots are empty. Lights are turned out. Pews are vacant. Instead of preaching to a crowd, I’m preaching to a lens. Emoji’s have replaced handshakes. Thumbs up's have replaced amen’s. Friendly but poor replacements.

I miss the crowds and I miss the noise. I miss the handshakes and I miss the hugs.

Please excuse me for my lamentation, but all of us have to do this.  All of us have to mourn what we have lost.

I miss it. I miss it all. And it makes me sad. I’m trying to keep up a positive attitude, but I’m sad and I’m wondering if things will ever be the same as they used to be.

Even now I’m trying to think of the positives, but my heart is stuck on sad. Isn’t it my job to give people hope? Aren’t I the one who is supposed to be upbeat? Aren’t I the one who is supposed to lift people out of the doldrums?  Maybe I am, but not today.  Today I’m sad. Tears are coming to my eyes. Maybe tomorrow or next week or next month I can get back to the “sun will come out tomorrow” Todd I usually am. But right now I think I need to be sad. And maybe that’s okay. I hope it is. And maybe I need to let everyone be sad in their own time and in their own way.

Don’t take this wrong. It’s not like I’ve lost my faith. I’m just learning that faith and sadness can coexist. And I’m not giving up. I’ll continue to preach to the lens and upload the videos and learn some new routines.

But Sundays have gone silent at 3000 S. Park Avenue. And I’m sad.