A Way to Weather an Eruption

The Bali volcano, before the latest eruption, as seen from the community of Denpasar.

Some years ago I had some time to take my camera and wander around the community of Denpasar on the island of Bali. As I walked along the shore, I spied the four girls in the photograph I’ve shared as they sat in the sea breeze, chatting and laughing, and evidently enjoying each other’s company immensely. Right across the bay, however, loomed an active volcano. I didn’t really think about it at the time, the contrast between the innocent fellowship of four girls and the sinister potential of volcanic (literally) violence looming on the horizon. But that IS a picture of life, isn’t it? Dark possibilities lurk all around all of us, though few of us carry on in the shadow of an actual active volcano. We go about those activities that bring us life anyway, don’t we? And well we should!

I’ve shown this picture to a number of folks and they always say something to the effect of, “You went to Bali! That must’ve been quite the vacation!” Well, I really was there on business, and I tell you that because I’ve continued to stay in touch with my colleagues whom I visited there. Jonathan and Tina Bailey are Cooperative Baptist Fellowship cross cultural workers who live with and serve the Balinese through the local arts community. Here’s what I learned from them: the Balinese carry on their lives in full awareness of the danger the volcano possesses. They’re ready to adjust their lives if and when the thing should erupt. Which it did a few years back, and the ash cloud covered the perch where I took the photograph.

We’ve had an eruption of sorts. COVID-19 has had a volcanic effect on the way we carry on our lives. We’ve had to adjust in order to continue to find meaningful fellowship and offer service and community to those who’ve been cut off by this pandemic. This Friday at 10:00, we’re going to host a Zoom conference on how our Support Team methodology can facilitate a way of staying meaningfully connected during these tough times. If you’re interested, join us! We’ll be posting the link this Thursday and early Friday morning. See you then!

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