Benches, COVID-19 and Faith

Pastor Lawrence offers this reflection for us to start the week.

I purchased two folding benches last week. I had been thinking for some time that having a bench or two would be very useful at our family gatherings.

You see, we’re quite a bunch when we get together, what with our kids and grand kids, and grand kids’ significant others – soon to be our grand kids too –  and our great grand kids. We’re 26, if everyone can make it. We extend our dining room table to the max, and bring up two folding tables from the basement, so we have one long table that takes up the dining room and most of the living room. (It’s important to me that everyone is at the same table for the main meal.) Then we bring up chairs and more chairs, and pull up the couches, and put cushions onto them so people can reach the table from there. Once everyone is seated, it’s hard for anyone to move.

Now wouldn’t a couple of benches be nice? At least eight trips up and down the stairs would be saved by bringing up two benches, rather than ten chairs. A bench doesn’t have legs sticking out to trip on, like folding chairs do. A bench with five people takes up less room than five chairs – especially if the chairs have arm rests.

So I think buying the benches was wise.

But here’s the thing. I almost didn’t buy the benches. Due to restrictions on the size of gatherings, we can’t gather as a family now anyway. Our kids were planning a fiftieth anniversary party for Carrie and me, and it had to be cancelled. Who knows if we’ll be able to gather at Easter? I confess, I was feeling a little gloomy.

But then I told myself – no – this will pass. Eventually things will be back to normal, and we’ll be able to make plans for a family gathering, and actually count on being able to carry them out. So, as an act of faith that, with God’s help, we will get through this time of limited contact with each other, and thus get good use out of the benches, I went ahead and purchased them.

And besides, they were on sale.

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