Encouragement and Inspiration

Dear friends, this is a complicated and difficult time. In the midst of a pandemic…with great unrest in our nation…we continue to hear the call of Christ to proclaim God’s love and justice.

In times like this I want to offer you encouragement…and inspiration…but I find that my words fall short. And when I think about what those words…”encouragement” and “inspiration”… really mean, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that I don’t know what to say.

If we look into the history of the word “encourage” we find the French word for “heart.” To be encouraged is to have our hearts put into us…to be en-heartened…

And “inspire”…means to draw in spirit…or breath…

I know that I cannot put your heart into you…or fill your lungs with breath and spirit…especially not enough heart and spirit to face times such as this.

But we know the one who can and does. God is here…in this time after Pentecost…to strengthen our hearts and deepen our breath and make us able to answer the callings to which we have been called.

Sometimes “encouragement and inspiration” can feel like fluffy, marshmallow-y things…things that come with pictures of sunsets in the background or cheerful bubble words that are barely a millimeter deep.

But, know that when I tell you that I hope you are encouraged and inspired…and that I pray for God to move and encourage and inspire us all…that I am speaking of nothing less than heart and breath and boldness and hope…and that I also don’t know where that prayer will lead…but I trust it can transform our lives…and, in fact, the world.

May you feel your heart restored to you when it has sunk under the weight of the world. May you feel the breath of the Spirit rush into your lungs to enliven your whole being when you have begun to feel weak and shaking.

May we all be restored to strength and hope for the work before us.

In Peace,
Pastor Carolyn

P.S. I will be in Wisconsin for much of June…a place where God restores my heart and spirit. I will continue connecting through our prayer services…but with more limited email time. Thank you for your patience as I am a bit less plugged in.