Since all of this began, I’ve done my best to maintain a level mind. I lean into any anxiety with scripture and prayer, but for the most part I’ve been handling it no differently than say… how I’d handle taking out the trash. It’s a new variable to the equation, but since I’ve lived alone for 7+ years now, how much of a change – to me – would it really be?
Facebook on a good day, is a few minutes of distraction from the grind. Lately though? It’s an awful lot of people masking fear with humor. It was nice the first day or two. Now it’s the stand-up comedian bombing so hard it’s almost become a Michael Richards shouting slurs at the audience type of performance.
Everyone’s handling this their own way, attempting to stick to the guidance given by the government, from health experts. Some folks – like me – are blessed with the capability to work from home. Others ran off to the market and bought enough toilet paper that in order to use it all they’d need to poop 47 times a day for 10 years to use it up.
Most days I’ll go out in the car for a drive, or stop at one of the local supermarkets for a few small items, or just take a walk to get out of the house and out of my head for a few. Last night I realized though that my level head was teetering on a very fine point. The scales so closely balanced that when the tipping point came, it really put me on my back.
My folks are in their 80’s. My dad, recovering from lung cancer surgery. Since this started, my Mom has been going out for supplies with my dad locked inside. Yesterday they asked me to pick up some supplies for them, so I happily obliged. Honestly – the folks at the store, both patron and employee – have all been in good spirits.
So I get everything together, spray it all with lysol, and head over to drop it off. I arrived and both my mom and dad were waiting at the door. My mom looked concerned, my dad had an ear to ear grin just to see me. I handed her the box of stuff, they closed the door, and we waved goodbye.
One thing I cherish more than anything, one worldly desire I posses and have been unable to let go of as it has been the thing that keeps the balance, keeps my head straight – is a hug. A simple hug. Hugging a friend, hugging a loved one, hugging my mom and dad. Now because of this bug, because of the guidelines, because of a panic driven survival instinct…
I couldn’t hug my folks. I know its selfish of me. Honestly, I get it – I don’t want to get them sick, I want them to stay safe and well… but as the day carried on past that drop off my brain began to spiral. Balance revoked. Finally realizing that the one aspect of human contact I cherished most, from the people who I cherished most, was forbidden… hurt.
I can’t imagine how they’re handling it… but I am grateful I saw smiling faces on people I love, and that I was still able to help them in any way I could despite everything else going on in the world right now. A good friend helped to correct my course, and I thank God that through the trials they’ve endured, they were able to say the right things at the right time.
Not quite sure how long this is going on to carry on for, or what the world is going to look at after the seas have calmed, but I am grateful. I am grateful to have good people in my life, and a great God above who will continue to make our paths straight as long as we listen for Him, believe in Him, hope in Him, and follow Him.
There’s this Bible app I use on my phone, YouVersion. Beyond being able to read nearly every version of The Holy Bible, it also has various plans to offer guidance through scripture. For the past 15 days I’ve been working through a 60 day plan, reading the New Testament to completion and absorbing its Truth.
As I read through the book of Luke, already completing Mark and Matthew, I noticed some patterns. In these books, I read of the miracles performed by Jesus. The healing. I also saw how he would regularly go off by himself into solitude to pray to His Father and be with God. He’d return to the crowds, where they would beg Him to be saved.
I’m sitting there wondering what I’d say to Him, or ask of Him and “Would you pray with me?” was what immediately dawned on my heart. Immediately I feel Him ask me “and what would you pray for?” So I prayed for the health of my family and friends, the ones I love, the strangers whom I do not know… and I prayed for the people who I dislike as well.
Less hysteria, more prayer. I think we could all use a moment to answer that question… “and what would you pray for?” if you had the opportunity to pray with Jesus. Every moment of every day, we have the opportunity to pray. We need that right now more than ever.
Last weekend I got to spend time with my step son. At the end of the weekend, after returning him home, I started to wonder what impact sharing my time would have, if it was enough… I opened my trusty Bible app and was greeted with the words of Hebrews 13:16…
Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Thank you God. Thank you Jesus. Love your family. Love your friends. Love your neighbors. Love your enemies. Do good and share what you have. God help us all transcend this current situation as one people, worship, and give thanks to you.