I’ve struggled to write for weeks, not wanting the subject to be coronavirus, pandemic, social distancing, riots in cities, and daily news leaving me anxious. But here I am. My communication to friends via technology usually includes, “How are you doing in this crazy world?”
I want to move into the remainder of this year without unrest, rules that change weekly, word-wars between political parties and regular people. I don’t want to worry if I’ve been exposed to the virus and if I washed my hands before I just touched my face.
I’m tired of mob rule, authorities telling me where I can and cannot go, quarantines, and rising covid numbers. I’m tired of wearing a mask.
And yet, when I begin to count my blessings . . .
I’m eating my fill of tomatoes from my own plants. The respite of these cool August mornings are a summer surprise. Fresh herbs from my garden enhance the flavors of everyday food.
There is ink in my pen when I journal, vegetables and a note from a friend left on our front porch, and a driveway chat with a family moving their oldest to college. Friendship bread with a cinnamon-sugar topping is delicious with a cup of hot coffee.
I have my good weed eater, tools to dig and trim plants, and pots of blooming delight on the deck and front porch. I have clean water to drink.
My anticipation for bird song each morning at daybreak does not disappoint, and the little wren has the loudest voice. Squirrels perform gymnastics on the branches of trees, and I smile. Maisie greets me at the door like I’m the best thing in her world.
Sweet William and I are blessed with friends and family who check on us and pray when we need courage, those who help carry our burdens and sit with us when there’s nothing else to do.
I tune into on-line Bible studies and listen to encouraging podcasts. The ancient Scriptures refresh my spirit. Familiar songs fill my head and I sing out loud.
I laugh and I cry, and both relieve my stress. I walk on the lane feeling the sun on my skin and I sit under the shade of trees. I work my body, and it feels good to be active at my age.
I settle into a bed of clean sheets with a good book from the thrift store or my library. The fan gently hums, relaxing me for sleep. Sweet William smiles at me and we are at peace in this old house.
We shelter at home. In the middle of strangeness and uncertainty, this is our safe place. It is solace and consolation and a reassuring comfort with memories hung like art in every room.
In this world there will always be trouble, sometimes at greater degrees than others. Jesus said it would be. He said He would not leave us alone, that one like Him, an Advocate, would come to be with us, to live in us, to lead and teach and intercede for us.
While there are moments of feeling alone, stranded, and despairing, it is just that – a feeling. It is not truth. The truth remains like a rock foundation, unchanging, immovable. It will not be shaken.
The rock Christ Jesus is a shelter for me.
[Jesus said,] “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” –John 16:33 NIV