i’ve been sitting and pondering many a thing.

today, as i was reading emails and watching news, i was struck by how each of us are affected differently based upon which disasters strike close to home.

think about: if your home is destroyed by a tornado, years later you will still remember. or  is overcome by flood waters, or is threatened by fire or lightning or war or gas explosions…whatever you experience is what shapes you.

you may feel sorry for anyone in other towns or countries, but the thoughts don’t linger unless you are directly affected. unless your own existence is altered and changed forever.

this summer, i was in the minneapolis area when the tornadoes swept through and destroyed some northern parts of the twin cities metro area. and i know that the people are still working on fixing homes and cleaning up and getting back to normal.

but i moved.

and the local disaster here is not tornadoes.

instead the issue is flooding.

thankfully, the floods are starting to lesson here in north dakota as some of the water is flowing north/south (either north into canada or south through south dakota and on toward mississippi via the missouri). the effects will linger for a long time (especially since there are so many homes, businesses and schools that are essentially condemned at least a few months into the the future even after the waters finally recede). even if roads are slowly being reopened, there is still a lot of water that is just standing still and not moving out of the area.

sadly enough, i may forget in the future. never really forget, but i will never remember the same way because there was and is a distance between me and what happened.

but there is also a different type of distance that i’m experiencing as well.

the emotional kind.

in my new role, i get to hear about all the cruddy things that happen to people. i hear about the daily struggles, the pain, the illness, the grief. in my new communities, there have been a lot of funerals when people in my new congregations are grieving.

and although i live right next door to a church that is gracious in opening its doors for people to use in order to host various events (anything from a clinic-y setup to funerals for nonmembers), i have not known anyone who passed nor do i really know anyone who is grieving right now.

i’m too new to be close emotionally, no matter how close in feet (there is a sidewalk between back doors of the parsonage and the church).

i’m still trying to find my way and at times i am at a complete and utter loss as to how i should enter into the fray. my fear of intruding limits my ability to show that i care…

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