Dear First Free Family,

Last night Ruth and I played “pictionary” (a game like charades, but drawing the clues) via a video conference call with five friends from church. The theme was “things you’re doing around the house during the pandemic!” I’m not sure what was more funny, Ruth attempting to draw “cooking a meal of beef tongue ” (I promise that I am not making this up!), or Bill C guessing it correctly! We all had many more laughs during the game and it was a welcome balm to our tired-of-being-cooped-up selves. 

I think that the humor in the “misheard” lyric in the subject line (from the hymn Amazing Grace) is fitting, since it includes both the concept of dangers all around, and the absurd notion of “toys and snails” being the culprit. Any parent with littles can tell you that it’s not actually a stretch either. Have you ever stepped on a LEGO left on the floor by your child? That’s dangerous!

Take heart, friends! It is okay, even good…  no, it’s necessary to laugh as well as cry through these days of shelter-in-place. Enjoying a good sense of humor is part of our human make-up. So, I am praying that each of you also are able to gain some perspective and refreshment in the lighter moments during these strange and stressful days. 

        Psalms 126 (NIV) 

        1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,

                we were like those who dreamed.

        2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,

                our tongues with songs of joy.

           Then it was said among the nations,

                “The Lord has done great things for them.”

        3 The Lord has done great things for us,

                and we are filled with joy.

        4 Restore our fortunes, Lord,

                like streams in the Negev.

        5 Those who sow with tears

                will reap with songs of joy.

        6 Those who go out weeping,

                carrying seed to sow,

           will return with songs of joy,

                carrying sheaves with them.

Still helping instead of hiding

Don’t forget the previous tips and ideas about ways to be helping during this pandemic! Along with Breakthrough Urban Ministries, which I mentioned last week, here is another possibility: World Relief – Albany Park needs volunteers in May to deliver groceries to client homes. They are hosting online training sessions if you are interested. Contact Sara Aardema at 773-681-8569 or saardema@wr.org.

Grace & Peace to you all,

Pastor Del, on behalf of the Elders and Staff