I have been enjoying watching the Winter Olympics the past couple of weeks. Most nights I am able to catch an hour or so if I skip the 10 PM news. The half-pipe, downhill skiing, figure skating, and ice dancing I have watched thus far … and thoroughly enjoyed. Probably because I could never see myself doing any of these sports!
No, this morning I am hardly interested in skating or sliding to my car on the thin layer of whatever that is that came down in the night. No, I am content to sit inside, hot tea in hand, and ponder a bit.
My mug of choice today is one from a Starbucks in Seoul, Korea, in the summer of 2006. I was on a seminary immersion trip to China and Korea when this mug and another from Starbucks in Beijing, China, were purchased as gifts for my husband, the coffee connoisseur.
I remember parts of that trip as if we had been there yesterday. How my claustrophobia kicked in when we landed at the airport in China … so many people! Everywhere. How I got through two weeks without communicating with my husband by phone or email. How the Koreans long for peace and reconciliation for their people. All people.
I wonder if the Olympians, their coaches, and fans are experiencing the gracious and generous hospitality of the Korean people. Will they be moved to consider their own ways of welcome?
I wonder if, amidst the practices and competitions, they have seen the beauty of the peninsula … in the mountain, the architecture, in the people … and recognize that life is far different in the north.
And I wonder if those of us who have not experienced separation from family and homeland, brought about by outside forces, can fully comprehend the pain, the loss, the longing for reunion.
Just some of the thoughts twirling around in my head today.
Welcoming Reconciling God, help us to put ourselves in another’s shoes and ask the deeper questions … Why? How? When? Amen.
. Grace and peace … --Pastor Pat