My mother used a wringer washer in my early childhood. I remember how she would stand at her washing machine and run all the clothes through the wringer. It was a long and tiring process for my mom, with all the laundry a fishing resort generated. She was so excited the day that our new automatic washer and dryer arrived. One can only imagine her disappointment when the clean white sheets she was expecting, were instead streaked with massive stains of rust. It would take hours to soak them clean.
Our rural well water had a high content of iron. The only solution was the added expense of a water softener. What should have been a moment of joy, was wreaked. There were problems that needed to be overcome and stains to get out. Most of all, I remember her deep disappointment.
I feel like that as the weeks pass and the pandemic continues. Hearing tragic stories from other places as Covid19 circles the earth. I see and hear the trauma in New York and New Orleans. I ache at the stories of loss and tragedy unfolding there. I wonder about the wellbeing of the homeless and immigrants at our borders. Meanwhile, in my home territory, we wait for the full force of the virus coming to us from both east and west. The spring I was looking forward to is dampened by dread. Everyone is telling us that this will get worse before it gets better. Today, my governor continues in self-quarantine, last week my senator’s husband was hospitalized with pneumonia from Covid19 and my Lt. Governor’s brother died of it. I worry about loved ones, especially the most vulnerable. I wonder how many lives will be lost. I wonder how many people will be among my friends.
I find comfort and encouragement in the psalms. I’m reminded in Psalm 91 that God “Will cover you with his pinions, and under God’s wings you will find refuge; God’s faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day,or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday.” Psalm 91:4-6 RSV
I think of other times and moments in life where I have sought security in the shadow of God’s wings. I recall how good it is to shelter there. I’m reminded of God’s steadfast love and God’s ever present faithfulness.
God, be gracious to me; be gracious,
for I have made you my refuge.
I shall seek refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the storms are past. Psalm 57:1 REV