— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —
Late December 2020. The numeric end of a year that for me personally did not exactly start very promising, in the ICU of Waldkirch General Hospital. A year that brought many of us to our limits, tested our resilience. A year that, unfortunately, won’t be over come Friday. Instead, it will be getting an extension at least until Aprilor even May/June, when the effects of the incipient vaccination campaign, of Spring, and of a new pastor, will hopefully make it possible to gather in the remnants of our community, and meetin our church again. And see how many we lost. And how much.
There won’t be a return to ‘normal’. Whatever that was, anyway.
There will have been, even though in forms at variance from the format Ulrich Beck predicted, a shift towards risk society, a redistribution of threats and dangers. But it is up to us whether the segmentation, the separation, the isolation that comes as an effect of modern society will last beyond the distancing rules.
We will have to show whether “social distancing”, the ugly phrase that politicians and journalists kept repeating and advertising, seemingly unaware of what they were saying, will extend beyond the physical distance that I for one found much harder to bear than I thought I would.
We will have to figure out how far out of touch we drifted, and how resilient our faith in ourselves as a community is.
We will have to rewrite several of the (master) narratives that we had become accustomed to. Like in the story on the back page of this week’s Die ZEIT (my translation):
Everything had been planned, prepared, practiced for the nativity play. All the children had their roles, including the big, somewhat bumbling boy who was supposed to act as the inn-keeper who sends the holy couple to the stable. The choir starts, tension is mounting. Maria and Joseph knock on the door of the inn. The inn-keeper opens the door just a foot wide, as scripted. Joseph asks for a place to stay. But thenthe boy opens the door wide and cries: “Well, do come in! There’s hot soup for you!” There is a moment of silence, then the audience bursts into jubilation –the problem has been solved. This Christmas the Holy Family won’t have to stay in a humble abode. And there is soup for all, including the shepherds!
May the basic, natural kindness of this boy be a beacon for us all as we trundle on beyond Dec. 31st. Like him, we will have to think outside of the box if we want to continue. Only then will we be able to open doors wider than ever before, and make sure there is enoughsoup forall. Which there is.