At a bend in the road, not far from bright green pastures where black cattle graze is Minneola Lutheran Church.
I first encountered it online.
Pastor Hannah, in translucent milky-white glasses frames and dangly earrings was coloring a mandala — yellows, reds and oranges. The sharp tipped markers were a far cry from the blunt Sunday school crayons I remember out of the tin box in our church basement cupboard. It was very soothing to watch. (Unlike when I tried squinting at an adult coloring book myself.) Pastor prayed for larger communities as she expanded the coloring outwards. After about 20 minutes she commented it was an unfinished creation, as are we all.
An earlier prayer was “full of lament” and feeling “pushed back to the foot of the cross,” repeatedly.
A later one of less than five minutes encouraged gratitude for quiet and time. I listened to that at the end of a dead end gravel road watching the moonrise over a cornfield while also literally hearing crickets.
Later that night I saw there was yet another very recent video from her porch, about “yearning for wholeness.” It included her great singing voice with sort of a mantra after plucking a tuning note on some unseen stringed instrument.
The newsletter online notes her sons’ unsuccessful attempts to sink a lily pad and the upcoming “blessing of the backpacks.”
In between the prayer videos, there was a worship service from the lovely sanctuary. There’s gold framing around a picture of Christ I don’t recall seeing before. It kinda looks like he’s waving.
The sermon was based on one of my favorite hymns that talks about blue skies and true hearts. We were told Christ looks back at us through the eyes of others. The Lord’s Prayer was a montage of different faces. Other prayers included for the educational system and to be in harmony with the seasons.
We were reminded to let the Holy Spirit “do her work.” Pastor Hannah advised, “breathe deeply and cling loosely” to things of this earth. Highlighted was the mystery that God can both encompass the infinite and still “cares deeply about you as a particularity.”