Meredith Harber (courtesy)

Meredith Harber (courtesy)

Minister’s Message: Spread love in these challenging times

I don’t know about you all, but the world feels pretty rough these days

By Meredith Harber

It may be cheating, but I’m writing this “Minister’s Message” to you all from a comfy couch at my brother’s house out of state, while I listen to his second child, just 3 weeks old, coo-ing away and making all the cute little baby sounds.

It’s amazing how that at this age, all this kid needs are food of the liquid variety, a clean diaper and a place to sleep. He really is pretty low maintenance.

But there’s something profound at looking into his little eyes and thinking that all he has known is love. He hasn’t been hurt by the world yet. He hasn’t experienced hatred because of his skin color or who he loves. He hasn’t been told his body is wrong in some way. He hasn’t felt let down by his government. He hasn’t been told that he is not good enough. Which is absurd, because if anyone in the world is a lazy loser, it’s a baby! I mean, all he does is eat, sleep and poop. Such a freeloader!

But I think we’re able to look at him and not feel that way, not blame him when he wakes up in the middle of the night or when he is cluster feeding for three hours without stopping, because we’re somehow able to put aside our own worldly hurts at the door for his sake. We don’t get mad when he spits up on our shirts or needs a new diaper just 10 minutes after we last changed it.

Because babies are love and have no hatred to give. Babies are little sponges, absorbing what the world around gives them. Babies bring out the best in us. We sit still longer, holding their sweet bodies and counting their toes. We speak more softly, not wanting to disturb them from their rest. We touch more gently, not wanting to hurt these tiny, fragile beings.

I don’t know about you all, but the world feels pretty rough these days.

I have a long list of pains and hatred from watching the news or even just going out to the store. But instead of letting those be the things that I push back out of my body and into the world, I’m going to try to respond to those around me as if they were 3-week old babies. I’m going to try to speak softer, sit and listen longer, touch more gently and spread more love.

The world needs it. I need it. And I bet you need it too.

Peace, my friends.

Pastor Meredith Harber ministers at Christ Lutheran Church 128 N. Soldotna Ave. Worship is at 10 a.m Sundays in person or on Facebook Live and 7 p.m. on Facebook Live.

More in Life

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Thanksgiving

We at least have a good idea of what our political future looks like.

This is Arthur Vernon Watson at age 39, when he was transferred from the federal prison in Atlanta to the penitentiary on Alcatraz Island near San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of the National Archives)
Justice wasn’t elementary: Watson, Part 3

Anchorage probation officer Roy V. Norquist was monitoring Arthur’s movements and reported that he was pleased with what he saw

Cranberry sauce made from scratch with hand-picked berries makes a special holiday treat. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Foraging with love and gratitude

Gathered and prepared by hand, cranberries brighten a Thanksgiving feast

Minister’s Message: When the going gets tough…

Suffering as a Christian is not always a popular preaching topic.

Letitia Wright as Shuri in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Image courtesy Marvel Studios)
On the Screen: ‘Wakanda Forever’ picks up the pieces

“Black Panther” sequel grapples with grief and hope after franchise loses its star

Oxtails are cooked with onions, garlic and daikon. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
A bowl full of medicine

Oxtail soup makes a healing winter meal

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Ride on!

Later this month, I’ll turn 49

Arthur Vernon Watson was 23 years old when he was incarcerated in San Quentin state prison in California. (Photo courtesy of the National Archives)
Justice wasn’t elementary, Watson, Part 1

The Frolichs’ establishment, then called the Watson Motel, had been owned by Arthur Vernon Watson and had become a crime scene

Korean red pepper paste adds heat to this Mapo tofu recipe. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
A spicy meal to burn away the sadness

This hearty meal can be adjusted to be as mild or spicy as you wish

Nick Varney
Thanksgiving memories of the unhinged kind

Let’s take a first look at the oncoming day of feasting

The first snowfall of the year arrives in Kenai, Alaska, on Oct. 25, 2022. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Minister’s Message: Delight in the wonder of winter

Seemingly overnight, we’ve transitioned from our summer playground to our winter lives