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Meditation from Glen, April 6/20
for Kerrisdale Presbyterian Church (and others)

“Pivoting”

On CBC this morning (Monday) I learned a new meaning of the word “pivoting”. I’ve always thought of pivoting as something a basketball player does to get free from a guard, or something a ballet dancer does as she moves gracefully across the stage. But in this day of Covid 19, it has taken on a new and very important meaning. A factory that normally makes 3-D educational equipment has pivoted so that it is now making thousands of face shields for health workers. A brewery has pivoted in order to fill bottles, not with beer, but with hand sanitizer. Hundreds, even thousands, of companies are “pivoting” from what they usually do or make, and turning their machines and equipment to the task of making things that help combat the corona virus.

I began to wonder if there is any pivoting we individuals can do to make a difference in this time of crisis. Most of us can’t suddenly turn to manufacturing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE’s) for health care workers, but maybe there is another kind of pivoting we can do.

We are hearing of the terrible toll this virus is taking on the mental, emotional and social health of people in all walks of life. Front line workers are already suffering from PTSD. People in long term isolation are suffering loneliness, despair and fear. Everyone is becoming more and more concerned over how long we will have to stay home and unable to live our normal lives. Many are deeply concerned over vulnerable loved ones whom they cannot visit.

Paul once said, “I have become all things to all people that I might by all means save some.” (I Corinthians 9:22) He was talking about how he identified with people who were in different conditions. He walked in their shoes so that he might be the means of changing their condition and saving them.

So Paul was a “pivoter”. He pivoted from one thing to another in order to rescue those in need of spiritual, emotional and social help. Well, perhaps this crisis is an opportunity for us Christian folk to do some serious pivoting. We are unable to follow our usual routine. We are shut off from doing the things we love and enjoy. So we have to turn to other things to occupy our minds and our hands.

This virus can limit our congregating, but it cannot limit our compassion. It can limit our freedom, but not our faith. It can keep us physically apart, but it cannot stop our being together in other ways. If we don’t normally have time to reach out to ones who might be in special need of a caring connection, or a word of comfort, or a glimmer of hope, why not pivot around to a new routine? You have within you the caring capacity and spiritual resources to make a real difference in the lives of others.

So let’s ask God for ways we can join that factory and that brewery by pivoting in a way that ministers to the needs of vulnerable, lonely and needy folk.

May the Lord be with you and all those whom you love.

Glen