I read something today and the image the writer used stuck with me. The writer said it was time to “lean into our faith.” And as I went about the regular day to day stuff of washing dishes, washing hands, doing laundry and what have you, that phrase kept coming back to me. Lean into our faith. Recently, a singer by the name of Bill Withers passed away. He sang lots of songs, but one of the songs I remember most is “Lean on Me.” You remember it right, “lean on me/when you’re not strong/and I’ll be your friend/I’ll help you carry on.” And so with those two thoughts in my head I started to really think about what it means to lean into our faith. Do I do that? So many times I feel like I have to carry on without any props. Isn’t that what adulthood is supposed to mean? You soldier on bravely while inside you are crying or cringing. Our country seems to thrive on that philosophy, right? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. Don’t ask for any help. But in this time of pandemic, my bootstraps feel a little too flimsy. Oh, sure, some days I have it all together. I clean up the kitchen, I garden, I take brisk no-nonsense walks to clear my head. But those other days, when getting out of bed seems almost too much. When the computer calls with endless games of mindless solitaire so I don’t have to recognize what is going on around me, yeah, not so strong then.
So what do we do? What can we do as grandmas and grandpas and sons and daughters who ache for the feel of just one hug? My solution is varied I gotta say. Some days I just read more Scripture. Some days I look for inspiration on the internet from David Lose to Nadia Bolz-Weber. And when I can’t seem to look outward, I have prayed fervently. Harder than I’ve ever prayed. Not just for myself, but for the world, the people “in charge”, the hospital workers, the janitors, the delivery people. I sometimes don’t feel like that is enough. I feel like I’m not doing my part. And so I write of my frustrations and anger and panic. But I am beginning to lean into that faith that I have professed for most of my life. I am not ignoring the world around me. I am NOT expecting God to swoop in and fix everything. But I am trusting more and more that God is with me, us, within the framework of this global event. And thinking again of that song, “If there is a load you have to bear/that you can’t carry/I’m right up the road/I’ll share your load” if you just call on God. So yeah, leaning into my faith more these days feels like the right way to put it. If you just call on God. Let’s try to do that a little more. Lean on God. And you can call on me, too!