there’s a heaviness to these days

There’s a heaviness to these days, our God,
with too much that weighs on us.
Dear friends have died.
Their personality and perspective,
their feistiness and life—their presence
is missing from our experience now.
Dear friends are sick,
and so there is energy, fullness, and abundance
that is missing.

Not to mention that we are surrounded
by bad news, rancor, divisiveness, bitterness,
anger, fear, stress, injustice, pettiness,
violence, corruption, small-mindedness.

No wonder Paul made a list of positive things
on which to tell the Philippians to think (Philippians 4:4-8).
But how is that not escapism?

And here we are entering the season of Thanksgiving,
and the waiting into Christmas.
And so the heaviness of these days
runs into holiday hopes and expectations
of enjoying friends and family,
of preparing and sharing good food,
of relaxing, of fun—
of a greater ease to be had.

Maybe it’s within the heaviness,
that we make our celebrating—
in spite of the heaviness—
so very aware of the heaviness.

Maybe we need the discipline of celebration
as much as the ease and joy of it.

We thank you then, our God,
that we are never alone—
that we share the yoke with You,
especially in and through what is hard to negotiate—
as in what we navigate with ease—
into what is joyful—
in the name of the one who still makes the angels sing,
Amen.

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