A Message from Rev. Averill Elizabeth Blackburn:
Music has always been a part of my life, which is perhaps not surprising given that I was brought up in churches and listening to old vinyls. Those who know me know that I have the annoying tendency to break into song. When I recall past friends, I almost always have a tune that goes with each person. To anyone who “borrows” my computer at a future date: yes, I do have a playlists with “theme” songs for all of my closest friends.
I will also admit to being the girl who got bored in 2014 and assigned a different ringtone to every one of her contacts.
Over the past few days, this tendency of mine has come into effect. I’ve been in self-quarantine since Wednesday morning and have spoken to no one face-to-face except my cat. When usually, on a Saturday night, I would be enjoying a home-cooked meal courtesy of my mother and wondering what I’m possibly going to preach the next morning at FCC, tonight I’m tucked up in bed and rationing toilet roll like the rest of the country.
I’m all alone.
Hilariously (or not), that is the title of the song that has been on constant repeat in my head. “I’m All Alone” is a number from the Broadway musical Spamalot. It starts off with King Arthur feeling sorry for himself and proclaiming to the audience–“I’m all alone.” Funny thing is, his squire starts singing with him at one point reminding him that Arthur is not, in fact, ALL ALONE (not that the king of myth actually listens). By the third or fourth verse, the entire company of knights are singing with Arthur as well because he is not, in fact, all alone. Arthur just thinks he is.
This is meant to illustrate how clueless King Arthur is and to make the audience laugh (and I never fail to chuckle when I replay the song). It does, however, offer a pertinent fact check to the singer: although you think you’re alone, you’re not.
And that’s the thing. Here I am, sitting in front of my telly, trying not to mix up the dvd remote with my firestick. I’m feeling sorry for myself and utterly alone in my social isolation.
However, I am not alone.
God is here with me.
He is within every household across the country, across the world, suffering along side us, comforting us whether we are showing symptoms or praying that we and our loved ones will be spared.
God listens, he’s present, he not only cares, but he loves us and he understands us.
Often in church, I have asked you to take a moment and try to hear that still, small voice which is God.
Our lives have gone still. Our connections seemingly broken. When we cry, or pray, or wish, or scream, it certainly seems like absolutely no one is even there to hear–but the still, small voice is still whispering, and will never abandon us.
Just like the broadway song, Arthur thinks he’s alone, when he clearly is not. It’s funny, we laugh, and then the musical continues with another jape. We are not alone, and it’s obvious God is here, we just have to take a moment to realize that he’s “singing” along with us. He may not be as obvious as an entire musical chorus of men dressed in tights, but if we try to look for him, he can and will make himself known and we’ll wonder why we didn’t notice him in the first place.