I checked the weather several times. First the little hourly icons looked promising, then not so much. Looking at the radar it seemed like my destination might be between a couple of systems, but perhaps one or both of them were moving that direction.
I decided to give it a try.
As I was driving by the park near home, I saw a neighbor I’ve heard play the piano at church walking slowly past, and heard a few notes of a vocalist concluding a hymn with the words “wholly thine” nearby a woman sweeping off the stage. In the next block, a big fallen tree limb had been moved out of the street.
That all seemed encouraging.
When I was approaching St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Lake City there were a few cars parked out front. I’d read in some comments online that they were holding worship services outside. Stopping around the corner by the city park, I saw a few people approaching with chairs. I had my chair along but thought I might just stay in motion along the periphery. Reverends Barbara and Lynne made their way out the side of the building to the parking lot wearing full vestments.
After stopping on the sidewalk out front as the bells rang, I moved in a little more closely to try to hear the service. When a pleasant gentleman brought over a chair and set it down for me I stayed for awhile.
As I was settling in, I heard the words of scripture being read, “What do you seek?”
The sermon happened to be about rhetorical questions — but not specifically that one. Jesus asked Peter, “Why did you doubt?” He knew full well before he asked that the answer was natural human fear.
We were encouraged to refocus from fear to faith along with being reminded that faith is always within reach, and that grace happens time and time again.
I stayed long enough to hear the snap of the communion bread being broken but bowed out before distribution. The clear instructions on protocol seemed prudent and practical. There was a neat stack of masks on the table by the red hard-covered books of common prayer and the bottle of hand sanitizer. But the communion of shared solace had already gracefully rewarded the remembrance I sought.