For holidays meals when we young, we rarely got home cooking. Well, if we went to grandmas we would. But if we stayed home and didn’t travel to Mayberry, we had the joy of going out to eat at the local cafeteria. I remember Morrison’s and S&W. The joy of picking and selecting and loading up my tray. This was nothing like school cafeterias. This was food heaven.
Then I discovered the food courts at the malls. Yowzah. But more. It got better. In urban environments, there are often clusters of restaurants around large business or sporting venues. When I worked in a Dallas hotel, there were about 100 restaurant choices within a few miles.
I tended to hang at just a few, but I did like to know that there were choices. But for hotel guests, the choices were often overwhelming.
From food to facts. After 9-11, and during the original Iraq war, I remember 24 hour news coverage. I loved hearing James Earl Jones’ famous “This is CNN.” With all the news home and abroad, I took it all in – as overwhelming as it was.
And now … COVID 19 news coverage is everywhere. Maybe it’s the closure of sporting events, Hollywood basically going silent, and even a lull on impeachment desires … it seems there is nothing but virus news. I can handle it.
But an area that has me wishing for more time to digest, more time to process the information, is the emails/web-conferences/blog posts/articles/phone calls/etc on how churches can adapt, improvise, and waddle through all of this – web streaming, online studies, legal ramifications of size gatherings, care ministry during social distancing, e-giving, supply stocking, and more. True – my church isn’t mega, or close to mega – but those churches can delegate and divide responsibilities. Here … the bucks stops with me. Trying to cram all of this, while still ministering to those on life support, those being laid off, those whose weddings are postponed, can be like looking at cafeteria full of food, trying to make choices, while everyone around is calling your name at the same time.
So people, pray for your pastors. Sermons that need to feed and minster to those facing this crisis, hope that needs to be spread, and peace that needs to be spoken … all while facing so much being thrown at them. To those that think their job is easier with no events at the “church” forget the church is not a building.
And pastors, hang tough. Hold on to the One who will get you through it. Love your wife. And know this too shall pass. We may never do Church the same again. And that may not be a bad thing.
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Just FYI …Some of favs in Dallas were Cafe Brazil, Buzz Brews, Hard 8, Flying Fish, Ida Claire, el Fenix (downtown), and Bread Winners (McKinney). Still, so many choices.