It has been said many times this year: No one could have known how much our lives would change.

During this time, our spiritual leaders — in our communities and across the world — have reached deep into their hearts to find ways to care for their flocks.

In this column, local clergy write to you with messages of encouragement and support because the rules keep changing. No one can get through these difficult times alone. Separation can become overwhelming for human (social) beings. Relationships are basic to a meaningful life.

And yet not everyone is on the same page.

In the Gospel of Luke 6:13, Jesus says: Do to others as you would have them do to you.

We also know this as the Golden Rule. We learn this as children in our families and in our schools.

Taking this a bit further: to treat others the way they ask/need to be treated. The focus shifts from the “self” to "let me first understand what others need.”

This means we are to walk alongside of others and learn what is important to them. We can walk the walk of Jesus and talk the talk of empathy and caring.

We all need encouragement and reminders that the message of Christ is love — abundant love for us. We struggle to earn each other’s love when God loves us just the way we are.

And we want to be together. We become mindful of the meaning and purpose of being alive. Summertime activities take us out of our own small worlds and bring us inspiration and renewal. The long, warmer days invite us to see the world as an abundant place where we enjoy the fullness of the Creator’s vision and find hope.

Take some quiet time and ask yourself: How do I keep going day after day? What is it that gets me out of bed each morning — even when life is difficult?

Within the answer lies your strengths, abilities and inner resources. Learn from them and lead with them. Do more of what is working for you.

We will get back to a place where hugs and kisses are possible. But not just yet; we have a ways to go. Let’s use our inner strengths to care for others and offer them encouragement and support on their terms.

The more we mask and distance, the sooner we can have those hugs and kisses.

Margie Adams, MA, is the staff chaplain at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center.

***

Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.