Connecting Beyond the Walls

Today’s word of hope comes from our own Rev. Emily Hull McGee, pastor of First Baptist Church on Fifth, Winston-Salem.

These days, I find my spirit bends towards words, images, and stories that enliven the day with beauty, with grounding, with that which reaches us timelessly into the past and future. Somehow in all the pain, all the fear, all the suffocating anxiety, finding inspiration from our great storytellers feels like an act of stubborn hope.

I’ve found this in a few sources this week, and these “tiny beautiful things” as author Cheryl Strayed once described them, have enriched my days. Here are just a few of those creations for me this week; add to the list! May we all be lifted.

Silas Creek (pictured), just a 20-minute walk from my house

Praise Song for a Pandemic from The Work of the People

The podcast Poetry Unbound, each episode a handful of minutes given to a poem read and interpreted in the Irish lilt of poet and theologian, Pádraig Ó Tuama

Some Good News, a charming and funny video series hosted by actor, John Krasinski

The whimsy and colorful truth of artist Lisa Congdon’s Instagram account

My well-worn copy of Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness by Nan Merrill

Stories and images from Project Mask WS, a collective of more than 1000 local mask-sewers who have taken to their sewing machines and created over 50,000 masks for local frontline health care workers. Their Facebook Group is a force of love and encouragement among us!

“The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


Together in God’s work of Love,
Pastor Emily


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