Peace Be With You
Sometimes these days, I can’t get much done. Well, to be honest, this is the way I feel every day.
What I once accomplished daily has diminished, working at home, thinking about the future that might not be the future, the normal that is never to return, the possibilities and eventualities that might be my own anxiety or not. My decision maker is also “out of whack” and I have trouble being decisive. I wind of wondering what is wrong with me almost every day.
On the other hand, nothing is wrong with me. Everybody at my house is well, well-occupied, healthy and happy. (Ok, except for the occasional snark.) But we have the privilege of work that matters that is doable at home, we have internet and “devices.” We have dogs who think we are home full time for them. I have a tea pot, food, a nice neighborhood to walk in, things to entertain me at the end of the day. Everything is good.
In the continuing Easter narrative, the risen Lord showed up in the disarray of the moment for the disciples. They were hiding and afraid of what it all meant. He came to them where they were and asked of them mothing, showing himself and offering peace. “Peace be with you,” over and over, he repeated it to them. His presence with them was enough, somehow, to bring peace.
Can this be enough for us too? That God is somehow in quarantine with us. That God is here, bidding us peace. God’s love is enough, and reminds me that this is enough, whatever I offer today is enough. Being here, making a bit of progress, working on a project, making tea. It’s enough.
I am harder on myself that I am on others. I have high expectations. This runs in the water and air and culture of Elon. But, to be honest, what we offer and do today is enough. We don’t have to earn our worth. God has given it to us freely. We are enough, just the way we are.
There will be amazingly productive days and rainy Mondays when making progress is hard, or hard to see. We try our best and that is what it is.
Wherever you are today, how ever you are feeling, whatever progress you achieve or do not achieve, you are loved. You are loved for who you are, and not for what you do.
Hold on to that, and I will too.
Jan Fuller has been the University Chaplain at Elon since 2011. She is an Episcopal priest and deeply invested in helping students to find their own spiritual paths while interacting with others in differing paths with appreciation and respect. Raised in Beirut Lebanon for the first half of her life, Jan is the daughter of Southern Baptist missionaries to the Arab peoples of the Middle East. Jan’s education includes a Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, and a B.A. in English and French from Hollins University. Jan describes herself as a “war-zone survivor,” who retains a sense of humor and love of gentleness. She loves Arab art and food, and all kinds of music. She intends to find the gift in every day and to live her life as a way of giving thanks.