Keeping a Sense of Awe

“Children see magic because they look for it.” – Author Christopher Moore“

Only where children gather is there any real chance of fun” – Journalist and Author Mignon McLaughlin

The pandemic has been a stress across generations, even for those resilient and emerging children and youth who will be forever impacted by the personal and cultural shifts experienced since mid-March of 2020.  And still, our children and youth retain a sense of awe and connection.  They still notice the sounds of birdsong, and delight in spotting new nests in neighborhood trees.  As the snow melts, there is plenty of mud to stir, sticks off of trees to wave, and green shoots and buds to inspect.  Spring springs forth, excites our senses and our hopes for emerging from the isolation of pandemic, isolation we have practiced in good faith that our friends and family will be able to rejoin us again for worship and shared moments of awe.

Many of us, myself included, have been awed by the science-based response to the pandemic, which has resulted in a vaccine that will help us back into the presence and arms of those we most miss.  How amazing the speed, the efficacy, the collaboration that has brought vaccinations into our arms in growing numbers!  I am grateful for the curiosity, the imaginations, and the dedication of scientists who once were children looking for magic, grown to adults who work to manifest “magic” in our world and in our lives.  By my next Ploughshare article, the state of Colorado has opened vaccinations to anyone over the age of 18, and even to some 16 and 17 year olds who can obtain a dose of the Pfizer version.  This is exciting news!  Though we know that not everyone will want, or will be able to receive a vaccine, perhaps enough will get their dose to effectively control the spread and the impact of Covid-19.

What fun we will have when we are once again able to gather! And I implore us to remember the wisdom that Author Mignon McLaughlin imparts.  Let us not leave behind those among us who are full of fun and possibility.  Let us remember that while vaccines become more accessible to adults, a significant portion of our congregation remain unable to receive the awe-inspiring doses of science “magic” that bring peace of mind and a sense of improved safety.   Let us find the patience to be fully inclusive of all our vulnerable community members.  Because that is where the real magic and fun will be found.  Progress is being made on vaccinations for children, and it will rightly, take time to run trials, evaluate data, and complete the due diligence to keep our kids healthy and safe.

When we do fully and safely gather, I encourage you now to think about how you will engage our community with your enthusiasm, your gifts, and your own sense of awe and wonder.  Our babies, toddlers, children, tweens, and youth are fun, magical, thought-provoking, and full of awe.  Might you be willing to foster relationships, rather than keeping that awe at a distance?  Might you get proximate by volunteering to spend a few hours within the joy of their presence?  Think on it.  We don’t have a specific ask, nor are ready to receive your answer quite yet.  We are not yet arrived at the time to organize classes, but I offer you the invitation to consider how you might get to know these vital members of our community.  I am beginning to plan what could be, but I will not be able to deliver programming alone, or by staff alone.  Soon, we will ask for volunteers.  

We have an awesome fun time. Be well, be vaccinated, be patient.  We shall be together again.

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