I have always been a bit of a night owl. It has served me well with small children, as I often get a second wind after everyone is asleep. In college, it allowed me to stay up late to finish papers and studying. Of course, I also found in college that the late hours meant my eyelids were sometimes heavier than they should be in lectures – with my notetaking become illegible as my body succumbed to the fatigue, as if my handwriting was in sync with my drooping eyelids.
That kind of fatigue – the sheer exhaustion of pushing our bodies and minds to work at maximum capacity – is the kind of exhaustion I am seeing all around me. Whether it is fellow clergy trying to be constantly nimble and creative while managing the emotional and spiritual field of a pandemic, whether it is working parents who are feeling the crush of working and schooling their children simultaneously, whether it is essential workers who have been putting themselves in constant risk for months, unsure of their job security despite our desperate need for their services, or whether it our retirees who feel the weight of missing their extended family, the binding feeling of restrictions, or the loneliness that can come from social distancing, we are all tired: bone-tired, fatigued, emotionally, physically, and spiritually spent. Add on top of that a pending heated election, the work of racial reconciliation, and the economic impact of a pandemic and it is a minor miracle that most of us are functioning.
In this time of weariness, I want you to know not only do I see you, but also our Lord and Savior sees you. When we are this spent in all parts of our lives, we may not feel Christ present with us in the same way. But it is during these times that Christ is most available to us, surrounding us with grace and light. It may be in the form of a healing phone call with a loved one, the stunning beauty of a tree turning vibrant fall colors, an online set of prayers or worship service, a good, hearty, unexpected laugh, or the kind word of a stranger, but God is with us in this, seeing our pain and weariness and sending us loving gestures every day.
Today, I invite you find some small way to let that loving generosity into your heart. Maybe you give yourself a couple of minutes before bedtime tonight to make a mental list of things for which you are grateful, maybe you write down those moments of grace from the last week, or maybe you call someone to share with them your reflection. My guess is once you create that moment for grace, you will start seeing those moments more and more. These small graces are what can sustain us in this moment, and eventually refill our cup so that it can run over to bless others. You are in my prayers as you refill your cup!