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Editor of the Reformer,

As the months lengthen and COVID cases rise, we lean into the future awaiting a vaccine. In the meantime, the isolation has taken its toll. Loved ones dying, holding on to the hand of an exhausted nurse, totally worn down by giving and giving and nothing changes. People living alone, no human contact. Zooming to at least see a face and hear a voice.

Depression and addiction increase, and our mental health decreases. AA groups online, not in our church basements.

Clergy anxious about how to sustain a faith community and our own management of depression and mental health. Overwhelmed, front line workers and health professionals are at risk, like the ones they serve. So, where is the hope?

Denial is not hope. Facing the truth about the virus and facing the truth about ourselves pushes us toward a “third thing.”

Instead of stress leading to “flight or fight,” we are led to a third thing. The third thing is hope against hope. We are called to speak a word of hope to each other. Who do you need to call?

Email? Zoom? What is your word of hope in the midst of the rhetoric of hopelessness or denial? We are called to act our way into hope.

Rev. Dr. Randall K. Wilburn

Trinity Lutheran Church

Brattleboro, Nov. 17


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