We are all missing special events in our lives, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations, and funerals. They are still happening, but in very different ways. These are memory making events, ones that we may be able to re-create in our minds. These milestones create many stories, ones that we tell over and over again as we recall what happened and who was there and details and layers that stay with us long after the events have ended. We attended my cousin’s son’s wedding on Anguilla in the Caribbean several years ago. We had a wonderful time celebrating with the bride and groom Annie and Jeff, and enjoying time with extended family. What do we remember most? A thunderstorm moved in suddenly during the wedding reception. There was some cover available at the wedding venue and restaurant, but everyone embraced the opportunity to get wet. We were all tired and sweaty from the dancing. We were getting soaked anyway, so everyone jumped in the ocean and got totally wet! Annie and Jeff led the way down the beach, and I will never forget the sight of the wedding guests bobbing in the surf.
Our perspective of milestones is changing these days. Everyday life and routines are disrupted, and big events are disrupted too. Some are cancelled, or postponed, or being held via zoom or other technology. We need milestones to mark the seasons of our lives. We need to experience the passage from one part of life to the next that allow us to grow in our faith, and in our relationships with one another. We are now experiencing the passage from death to life, from darkness to light, from the crucifixion to the empty tomb. We are going through this passage in a community, even though we may be experiencing that community differently.
We can still identify moments and milestones where God is at work, even in the midst of disruption. We may even be able to recognize more what God is up to, in the small, daily actions, because some of the big events are not taking place in the usual way. We can also reflect on how we are relating to people. One of the nice things about Jeff and Annie’s wedding (besides getting wet) is that it was a small wedding, with only close friends and family. We got a chance to talk to and bond with every person in attendance, especially when we jumped in the water! Our daily lives may now be limited to interactions with a few people in person or on the phone, or via zoom or Facebook or Skype. I live each day in gratitude for my husband Glenn and brother-in-law Geoff who lives with us. We don’t always get along perfectly, but we are celebrating passages and milestones together, whether we want to or not!
May our milestones, as different as they are these days, guide us into deeper relationships with God and with one another.
Romans 6: 4 “Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”