I wrote this particular piece for our Church magazine – however I feel it’s something that should be seen by many this year; not just our church family but every follower of Christ, every community, every person struggling with the crap that has been dealt to us in this crazy year.
2020 has been a year I would really like to put behind us, it’s not been what we thought it would be and particularly now as we stare down the nose of a long winter in lockdown my urge is to cry and kick and scream against it, much like my kids used to do when I asked them to get their snow pants on. The truth is though that as I look back at this time of enforced separation, I am also reminded of other years that we harder, scarier, tougher and I am reminded of God’s faithfulness through those times and I know that this winter will be no different. We are so blessed to serve a God who loves us, who is sovereign and who is the ultimate one in control. We can look to the leaders of the world and see the mistakes, or the things they did right, and we can cringe or be thankful but it’s more important in these tough years to look up and see what God is doing. I see that God is moving in our midst. He has reminded us how important community is, he’s brought out the compassion, the hope, the love that sometimes gets lost in the busyness of life.
I remember when it was this community that grounded us in one of our worst years, 2013, Tim’s first year of service here at Little T. We had watched Joshua fight though heart failure for a year by the time we got to Little T, he couldn’t walk to school, couldn’t play at the park, couldn’t do much more than sit on the couch if he played for more than five minutes and it tore us apart inside. It was this large cloud of uncertainty, much like the one we are all experiencing now with Covid 19. We faced leaving a church family that we knew and loved and starting in a new community when we needed our old one the most, we faced moving houses, new job, new schools, and of course we also faced open heart surgery for Joshua, as a way to top that horrible year we also had to put my dog down. The last thing I felt capable of doing was starting at a new church, with a new community, feeling so alone. However, one day someone left a small gift for Kaleb on our doorstep when they heard that he felt like the forgotten child, someone else sent Joshua a superman J cape, and the cards and the love that we felt from this new community was enormous. I remember sitting in Joshua’s hospital room on a Sunday afternoon just days after Joshua’s surgery, Tim came in with a big card and in the card were pictures of all of you, wearing red. The card was signed by so many of you and done so quickly so that Tim would get it to Joshua at Sick Kids by the end of the service. I held that card and wept, Tim wept, Joshua didn’t cry because he was too busy smiling at all the red shirts. This community knows when to step up in hard times, we have witnessed it firsthand and I know many others who have also seen it firsthand. This year is a little different in that we are all going through this hard time together, we all have days when we feel so alone, days when we feel angry, days when we feel hurt or scared or frustrated and so out of touch. We all have days when we just long for human connection, for the touch of a friend. In this time, I know that we as a community have what it takes to make it, we have the compassion, we have the strength and the love. I am so honoured to be a part of this amazing church, to see the transforming love that spills out of these walls and now through the TV each week. This will end, we know it will, we know that there will once again be cake in the basement for coffee hour, that one day we will once again be giving actual handshakes and hugs during the peace instead of sending a text, we know that God is in this with us and I know that as a community we will be brought closer despite this distance. This lockdown is a little harder for people than the spring one, I feel it too. The newness of it, the good feelings are all but lost and we are left grieving this time, but I urge you to continue to remember the feeling of the spring, when multiple times I would watch the morning news and see members of our community on the news sharing love with their neighbours, remember who we are as a community and who we are in Christ. If ever there was a time when the world needed our light, this is it and we can shine brightly when called upon to do so.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, fix our eyes not what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Thank you all for your continued support of Tim and the ministry team during these difficult times. Our warmest wishes for you all during this Christmas season from the Haughton House.