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God, Make It Possible

By Emily Provance

Dear Friends,

In June, I did an experiment.

I had noticed that my Facebook feed was overwhelmingly political. It used to be filled with photographs of kittens and updates about people’s babies, but now, it was nothing but news article after meme after angry exclamatory statement. Moreover, it was all from one particular point of view, like an echo chamber — a really, really loud one.

And I knew I had friends, some of them very good friends, who were not in agreement with this point of view. Where had they gone? Why had they disappeared from my feed?

So I started using the ‘hide this’ button, which can be found in the upper right hand corner of posts. I wanted to teach Facebook to give me less of the same people over and over and more from people I wasn’t hearing from.

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The First Day

Emily Provance

By Emily Provance

I THINK OF WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11, as the beginning. For me, two things happened that day.

First, I received a barrage of communications: emails, phone calls, text messages, social media contacts. “Who has a plan? What’s the Center for Disease Control (CDC) saying? Are other Friends cancelling worship? Are other Friends staying home?”

And second, I had to figure something out: where was I, as a traveling minister, going to go?

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Chesed by Pizza

Chesed by Pizza

By Emily Provance

“The obligations of normal human kindness — chesed, as the Hebrew has it — that, we all owe.”
Madeleine L’Engle, A Ring of Endless Light

EACH MODE OF TRAVEL — bus, train, plane, automobile — has its own character. I find buses to be the most strange. They’re always cold, except when they’re hot. Transfers come disproportionately in the middle of the night. And even if you’re promised wifi and electricity, your chances are fifty-fifty of receiving either. Something about the combination of continual jostling, sleep deprivation, and the inability to fidget in your seat evokes a sort of twilight state that I don’t entirely dislike. The rules of the world change. You slip into magical realism.

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