Twilight Twitches

Twilight Twitches

Dear Family,
fetscher...that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the body to risk the aches and coughs of ubiquitous COVID or to take up Masks against a sea of skeptics and by opposing, end the creeping habits of non-presence. No more; and by a caring, to say we bear the challenge and the thousand natural shocks.

There’s a good chance Shakespeare is spinning somewhere. Hamlet Act III, scene 1 has been scared. In the original, Hamlet bemoans his state but acknowledges that the alternative might be worse.

fetscherDear Family,
Nine days ago (Friday the 4th), Annie and I were having a coffee (and tea) break, talking about the terrible divisions that are rupturing our country. Will we ever be able to overcome the hard attitudes that afflict so many? Can we find healing?

I thought it might be an idea to Twitch about and jotted down the title you see above without having any idea what would follow.

A few hours later, I came back to this page, and as I usually do before a Twitch, went to look at the three Scriptures readings assigned for today. I nearly fell off the chair.

fetscherDear Family,
Tomorrow is Labor Day. The celebration finds its origins in the late 19th century as a way of acknowledging the role of labor and labor unions in our society. The Labor Movement and its leaders were powerful forces throughout the 20th century. (I still remember John L. Lewis’s eyebrows.)

From a gospel perspective, Labor Day can become a moment when we look at the state of working people today. The word ‘labor’ really means ‘heavy lifting.’

There are a lot of people who labor now in very difficult circumstances, and many are becoming victims of the pandemic because they risked themselves for others (us.)

fetscherDear Family,
In my office is a ceramic plaque which I received many years ago. It’s one of my favorite ‘objet d’art.’ If I told you about it before, forgive the repetition. Right now, it seems very relevant.

The special piece I’m looking at portrays two rather scraggly-looking buzzards sitting on an equally barren tree limb. One says to the other, “Patience hell. I’m gonna kill somethin.” Thanks to Annie, here it is.

I don’t know about you, but there are moments...

fetscherDear Family,
Who was that masked man? Who knew after all these years that ‘masked’ would be redefined? Tonto’s friend, Kemosabe, had eyes masked up. Now we “masked people” are masked from the nose down.

I guess I didn’t realize how significant COVID-19 really is; imagine challenging the Lone Ranger’s title ‘masked man’ and changing it to ‘masked multitude.’ COVID-19 is scrambling our eggs.

Speaking of masks, are you discovering that you read lips much more than you could have imagined? I find myself saying – far too often – “Sorry, what did you say?” My hearing aids are working pretty well, but I still can’t distinguish the blurred nuances of speech as they try to make it through the super-duper Elimstation Reusable PM2.5 Filter Face Mask. (I got that off the internet.)

fetscherDear Family,
Thanks to so many of you for your great birthday cards and good wishes. I remember years ago writing about how interesting it is that people play hide and seek about their ages for much of their lives. Then there comes a point where they cross some invisible barrier and all of a sudden, it’s okay not only talk about your age, but actually boast about it.

I don’t know if I’m ready to boast about 79, but I must say it doesn’t feel too bad at all. There are some of us who are contemplating having a big blowout for our 80th. There are a few of the class of 1941 floating around, and the ones I know are party types. Come on 80! (By the way, we’ll make sure that the little herd of you who are nonagenari¬ans will get a special invite, too.)

fetscherDear Family,
I write amid thunder and lightning (last Monday), and it feels like the kind of storm we were supposed to have and didn’t last weekend. Go figure.

Now I’m praying for the folks on the east coast, especially for my sister Cathy who lives outside Raleigh. By the time you read this whatever will happen will have happened. So weird.

Time is a mysterious phenomenon. Our pasts, presents, and futures can become so entangled. Nothing more reminds me of that every time I write one of these Twitches.

fetscherDear Family,
Here I am on a Tuesday, (last Tuesday for you,) thinking about next weekend, (today for you,) and wondering what will be happening... COVID-19... deeper discussions on racial injustice... tropical depression that could be here by next weekend in some sort of storm configuration...

Then I looked again at the scripture readings for this weekend, and out pops Romans 8. Please let me quote it here.

fetscherDear Family,
After you heard today’s gospel, did you wonder what the treasure was?

After all, one man’s treasure might be another man’s tax burden.

Treasures come in various sizes and shapes. The more I think about it, the more I think Jesus was asking, “What’s important to you?” And then the next question follows right away: “What are you willing to do, to achieve, to keep, to use, to spend, to protect, – whatever – that treasure?”

Focusing on the treasure, though, is not really the most important issue. Jesus was using the example of the treasure in the field and what a man does about that treasure to really describe the kingdom of heaven.

fetscherDear Family,
Kimberly Hope Belcher wrote the following reflection, which appears in the July edition of Give Us This Day, the little daily prayer book published by Liturgical Press. I’ve “stolen” it from them, hoping that it’s still easier to get forgiveness than permission.

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