“The Dock of the Bay,” by Otis Redding, was released on January 8, 1968. It was recorded twice in 1967, the second time on December 7, three days before his death in a plane crash. It was the first single to reach the top of the charts posthumously. This may seem like at odd choice for a motivational or encouragement song, but sometimes we must be the voice of motivation and encouragement for someone else. We are in the midst of three pandemics: health, injustice, and economic. The health pandemic has our schedules completely off. As soon as we think we have a plan, we learn something new and shuffle. We started off with two weeks to clean and sanitize in March; six months later we are adjusting to a constantly changing narrative. These lyrics stand out:
Looks like nothin's gonna to change. Everything seems to stay the same. I can’t do what ten people tell me to do, so I guess I’ll remain the same.
Lyrics like “I have nothing to live for” and “loneliness won’t leave me alone” are words of someone who may be struggling with life. I imagine that thoughts like that are not uncommon when we spend long periods of time alone, or limited socialization, like during the health pandemic. They may come to mind when you are a victim of repeated systemic racism. Or you are feeling the economic stress closing the business that you have put your heart and soul into, or you finally got a job and lost it. These words must be our inspiration to reach out to family and friends and connect on purpose, with purpose for a purpose. As I watch the numbers rise because of COVID-19, I am hopeful when I see that people have found creative ways to encourage, assist, supply, and connect to strangers. We have food distribution on the 4th Saturday of the month. This is our way of giving to our neighbors while our building is closed.
One way to connect to our struggling family and friends is virtually. We meet virtually for worship on Sunday mornings at 10 am, Bible study on Wednesdays, and check-in to chat on Thursdays. The information can be found on our webpage www.eumcbeltsville.com or our Facebook page www.facebook.com/groups/EUMCBeltsville/ . Until next time:
Concern is our motivation
Outreach is critical
Neighbors need encouragement
No gesture is too small
Everyone is important
Come together as one
There is hope for our nation