“First, we always wash our hands.” 

Step… Crunch.  

“We only put ingredients from the recipe in the bowl.” 

Step… Crunch.  

“Stir the batter.” 

Step. Step. Crunch. 

It seems like only yesterday my mom was teaching me to cook. She would pull the little yellow stool out of the closet and clear the countertop of all non-edible items. She would measure and I would pour and stir. I would watch as she added a pinch of this and a dash of that. I would observe as she danced through our kitchen with ease amidst the chaos. In spite of the flour on the floor, the dozen eggs knocked off the cabinet, and my insistence to ‘help’ with everything she exuded grace.  

 The last several months of ministry have been much like cooking with a toddler. We pay close attention only to look away for just a moment and, suddenly, our batter has an Olaf walking amongst the chocolate chips. Despite how quickly we work, the circumstances are ever changing. Each additional uncertainty inspiring rapid misplacement of reactions and organizing a culmination of heated opposition. It seems that with each step of the CoVid recipe we find ourselves facing another mess, another injustice, another debate… and we as ministers are once again walking on eggshells.  

We scramble diligently to provide opportunity. We work intently to establish connection remotely. We sit with those who have lost loved ones. We listen to the hardships of our world. We seek to speak to the injustices at hand. We dream anew of what ministry should look like. We pray faithfully for guidance. Yet, it’s not enough. The rebuttal, the frustration, the anger, the rising emotions taunt our work. We question every move, every decision, we act tentatively as to not upset the whole, and we fear our minimal response.  

The CoVid recipe calls for space. It requires we distance ourselves from one another, thus providing opportunity for that space to cultivate opinions not rooted in relationship. Space both rejuvenates and removes us from the truths of humanity. It means, we fail to see the person before the issue. Space allows us to look from a distance and not be emersed in the burdens of our siblings. It requires that we judge, form opinions, and consult without the bond of fellowship. And space is forcing ministers to step with hesitant caution as we create this new recipe.  

CoVid has invited the best and the worst of humanity to duel. In this moment, we are divided. The majority standing at opposite ends of the kitchen. The floor is covered in eggshells and, sadly, there is little liberty in the formation of this new recipe. All eyes are watching, observing, and mimicking. And so, we as ministers, must heed the lesson my mom unknowingly taught me while cooking.  

The bowl is before us.  

Step. Crunch.  

The stool is pulled out.  

Step. Crunch.  

The Church is reaching for anything in sight.  

Step. Step. Crunch.  

Now is the time to dance BOLDLY amongst the eggshells. 

Alena Vaughn is associate pastor of missions at Sugar Land Baptist Church in Sugar Land, Texas.