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January 2023

I am not a fan of parking garages. I mean, they serve a purpose, of course, allowing the highest number of people to park in the least amount of real estate, but I don’t like them. For one thing, they are always too dark and too shadowy, they are so dirty(!) and they are often musty and damp. For another, there is the sound when someone’s car alarm goes off or there are workers with jack hammers nearby or when an ambulance hits the right note – it’s enough to make you want to remove your hearing aids, if only I had them! All those things make the experience not great, of course, but the worst thing about parking garages is the people inside them!

For some reason, ordinary seemingly sane people, people who have, at least in theory passed a driving test and are able to see and possibly even read directional signs seem to take leave of their senses in the murky depths of the average 6 story parking structure. You will see people who can attend a Zoom meeting whilst simultaneously texting, whistling and eating a hamburger suddenly unable to find which button to push for a ticket that raises the gate. Meanwhile, there are those cars whose drivers have been in the lot for 45 minutes just driving around and around searching for that needle in the haystack closest spot to the door. Then there are the cars going the wrong way in a one way and people on foot darting in and out, around and between them without looking in any direction, taking life and limb in hand. All of that could be bearable if not accompanied by the Indy car racers who seem to think that every road’s speed limit is “as fast as you can go.”

Some of us live our lives like we are permanently in a parking garage. There are those of us who struggle to find the beauty in the world and notice only what is wrong with what we see around us, unable to see where God is at work in the messiness of life. Others are just unable to tune out the noise of the news or politics or even their own internal voice that keeps them from listening to the good news that God loves them, just as they are. Some of us are too busy to notice what is going on around us, too distracted by work and obligations and all the other things that need to be done (right now!) to focus on what else might be right in front of them. Still others among us are simply stuck - waiting for the exact right circumstance, the right person, the right job, whatever it is that will we believe will give life meaning, while others, dart around from place to place, never stopping to discern where they have been.

Wherever you are in life, I encourage you to take a moment. To look for the beauty around you, to listen for the word of God as only you can hear it. Slow down, stop, keep your wits about you, take action (prayer is an action, by the way), pay attention - look for God in the busy-ness of the everyday. Even on the 6th floor of the parking garage.

With love,

Rev Brae


If you would like to read the full issue of the Voices Newsletter please email staff@ucc-worcester.org

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