April 14, 2020

Old Faithful

I can’t explain it. Boredom? Fear? Denial? Whatever…I have found myself
watching (don’t laugh…ok, do laugh) the Old Faithful webcam from Yellowstone
National Park. The webcam runs about 2 minutes behind. Snow is falling. The
landscape is wrapped in fog/snow/steam. First there is a little plume of
steam…then, after hours of watching the plume thickens. The screen says that
you know when Old Faithful will erupt when crowds gather. There are no crowds.
No one gathers. The park is closed. But, the camera continues to capture the
moments. Old Faithful continues to be faithful.

The moments go by. I call my daughter to watch. “Ok, Mom. If that’s what we
need to do.” I don’t know if we need to watch but there is something riveting to
me about Old Faithful and this time period. Oh, yes, I am also watching lambing
on the Isle of Iona, Scotland. The puffins returning to their ancient homing
ground on Staffa and other islands. Highland Cows being brought in from
pasture.

Why? Because there is hope. There are much needed reminders that the cycles
of nature…of our natural world continue screaming, “Life! Life! Life!” The tree
outside our apartment balcony have new leaves maturing where 2 weeks ago
there were none.

The Hebrew language has the word “hesed…” Hesed may be translated steadfast
faithfulness. God is known through “hesed” to the writers of our Hebrew
scriptures. God is steadfastly faithful. Nature around the world is showing us
that.

Old Faithful. A reminder that there is life among the sadness and trauma of these
days. That God’s love is steadfastly faithful and present in all those who are
serving us whether doctors, nurses, cleaning crews, first responders, teachers,
military, grocery store employees, and the list goes on….

As my teacher Walter Brueggemann reminds us in a prayer offered in his devotionals titled A Way Other Than Our Own:

O God, you summon us to life in the midst of death, peace in the midst of
violence, praise in the midst of despair. Filled once again with your unruly Spirit,
may we answer your summons and be part of the movement of life. Amen.

Written by Rev Carol DiGiusto

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