by Lindsey Funtik, Coordinator of Volunteer Ministries, Ashland First United Methodist Church, Ashland, Ohio.
The world is not one clown short of a circus. Stakes are raised on hurricane predictions and anxiety makes the kindest of us rabid and, somehow, poisonous rhetoric about a deadly illness is supposed to wipe away the fear and the grief of millions that exists whether it is acknowledged or not. We are all so bone tired that if we stop with the snark and the maniacal laughter and the growling, we might just collapse into sticky puddles. We don't know how to reassemble, we don't know how to breathe deeply anymore. We just do not know.
Yet, though each day seems to be a tidal wave with malicious intent, I cannot help but to notice that my neck has not yet snapped. Buffeted by the wild as I am, I seem to be tethered. A little piece of yarn around my toe; a tiny thread of something nigh on forgotten that gives a tug, weak yet confident, every now and then.
I felt a tug while tucked into the autumnal folds of Ohio's Amish country, my husband's hand warm and comfortable on my knee. We ate too much and then ate some more and then took a night ride to get pizza before getting back into the hot tub, before watching yet another round of our good friend, Guy Fieri. When I tucked my head into that perfect spot between his shoulder and his chin, I mused aloud, "This helps."
I felt a tug while gathered around a Frozen-themed birthday cake, a little girl's eyes wide and bright as she took in our dollar store decorations. We tried to pin the nose on Olaf and we tried to pop some oddly tough balloons and we tried to blow some bubbles that claimed to be scented, but really just smelled like bubbles. All of that trying, it seemed, resulted in something small and special. As I giggled about all the glitter and regretted so much buttercream, I thought to myself, "This helps."
I felt a tug while sitting quietly in the corner of my living room, a stack of cards in my hand. Earlier that day I stood at the front of my well-loved sanctuary and was hit with a myriad of thank you's from the people with whom I get to serve. We received gifts and blushed a little and celebrated with some of the most delicious chicken salad I have ever eaten, but as incredible as all of that was, there was something grounding about the quiet, about the earnestness of the words addressed to me, about the blessing. I teared up and held envelopes to my chest and prayed, "This helps."
I think that all God really needs is a minuscule strand of string. Overwhelmed and scared and jaded as we might be, we have eternity wrapped around our toes. It is not grand, we must keep our eyes peeled for it, but it is there, tug, tug, tugging, reminding us of what is real, anchoring us to the Truth.
Cross-posted from "Reflections on Faith, Words, and The Holiness of Today"