Sunday, July 16, 2017

As the heat continues

Joyce Sasse - There are those who relish the heat. But there are others of us who find ourselves becoming more and more depressed by its excess.

Confinement to curtain-closed homes, stifling apartments, or air-conditioned spaces that irritate while they cool all take their toll. Add the threat this may be more than a few-day phenomena –we look for positive ways to find relief.

Through the hot, sticky summers I spent in South Korea, I regularly sat in front of an electric fan with my feet in a basin of cool water. Through drought days in Saskatchewan I retreated to the basement to escape the wind and dust-laden atmosphere. Here in Alberta another concern is the forest-fire smoke. Add the experience of loss of crops, homes, businesses, even entire neighbourhoods. When the land suffers, those who are connected also feel the pain.

Most important is that we be there for each other.

The first winter after I was ordained, we had an exceptionally cold January. I rousted myself to do pastoral visiting. The seniors I visited that day put life back in perspective for me. One lady was making cookies. Another kept close watch on a sick friend. A third made sure the new preacher stayed for lunch. Their lives were purpose-driven. Their day had a focus.

In tough times we can easily surrender to the disillusions and distresses that depress us. Or we can be more proactive as we realize we have responsibility within our community to initiate phone-calls, to share memories with a friend, to consider what assets we have that we can pass to others …

Part of our God given capacity of resilience is echoed by the kid who proudly shouted “God made me, and God don’t make junk!”

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