A couple of days ago a heavy fog rolled in off the Bay. It came suddenly. One minute it was simply a gray and overcast day, and then, next I looked, it was a cloud that obscured everything farther away than a few feet. It was a great time, I decided to go for a walk.
As I was walking along the Bay I could see and hear the white crest of rolling, crashing surf and on my other side, the beach with condos and homes and hotels. At least I knew they were there, although I only saw them fleetingly. It was fun walking in the fog along a familiar path, with the sound of the crashing surf to guide me and help me keep my bearings. As I walked, I reflected how different it might be if I were walking in unfamiliar territory, if I didn’t know the landmarks and have the ever present sound of wind and tide-driven surf rolling and crashing a few inches from my feet.
The fog that rolls in from the sea obscures everything in the distance and softens that which is close. I was surprised to learn, later, how many different types of fog can be formed by water and moisture-laden air when temperature differences collide.
And then I thought of a different kind of fog, the fog in a congregation or community when people hide shame or fear or failure or inadequacy, and of course many know it; but the stranger, the visitor can wander without bearings, and sometimes stumble or even crash. I have seen and navigated that kind of fog too, the fog that is intended to obscure, to hide, and desires light and visibility and healing and yet somehow all remain captive, locked in to the secret until no one knows where it has come and how it began, it simply is, and life can be a gray shadowland until whatever is unbalanced or in conflict can be seen and healed and restored.
My prayers of gratitude today for all in interim ministry, navigating new shoals and barriers, learning landmarks, bringing a beacon of light and hope as heritage and future are discovered or seen anew and welcomed.