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.


Just the other day, my kids were knee-deep into Lego-building. (And playing quietly! Together! For hours! Praise be!) 

They’d begun inside in one of their rooms, but the lure of the warm, lovely weather outside enticed them to grab the big orange bin and head for the back patio. They landed on our wrought-iron table, and Silas quickly grabbed handfuls of the colorful pieces to scatter about. Not a moment later, I heard him crying in frustration. “Mommy! The pieces keep falling through!”

 Of course they did, bless him. Those tiny Lego pieces kept slipping through the cracks of the table, raining down on the patio below. In a flash of inspiration, I remembered we had a small piece of posterboard inside. Created hopefully on the first day of quarantine and hung in the kitchen, that poster bore our ‘daily schedule’ for life and school and days at home: 8:00am breakfast, 9:00am moving our bodies, 9:30am schoolwork, and so on. (Now mind you, we’ve not followed that schedule a single day of these eight weeks, but I digress.) But today, it came off the wall to be a Lego-holder so that the pieces would be held. Silas’s tears dried and playing commenced. 

As I sat and watched my kids now building happily again, I found myself offering up gratitude for all of life’s catchers that uphold us when the pieces begin to fall. 

The friends whose texts to check in come at just the right moment.
The simple kindnesses of a meal delivered, a note sent, a driveway visit shared, a package of toilet paper given.
A well-timed tele-counseling session with your therapist.
A long walk in a beautiful spot.
That new podcast you love.
A day to step away from the phone, the news, the apps, the anxiety to practice digital Sabbath instead.
The new mask you just picked up from church to enable you to move around town with less anxiety.
The first cup of coffee, the mid-day pause to read, the evening prayer, and yes, even a schedule!
A big box of Legos and a sheet of posterboard allowing for space to play and rest and be.
And God above all else, whose Peace enters even the darkest, most fearful corners of our lives with the gentle reminder: ‘do not be afraid.’ 

So here’s to the catchers. The holders. The sustainers. May we who are weary and heavy-laden find their shoulders upon which to rest. And may Jesus who fed the crowds and then gathered up the fragments so that nothing may be lost, gather up the pieces of our lives so that we can build and play and rest in the warmth of the day.



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