Overheard in my house today:
“GET YOUR FINGER OUT OF YOUR NOSE! You’re gonna catch the ‘Rona!”
It reminded me of a time when nose-picking was simply gross, not potentially fatal. My son was six years old at the time, and he asked me out of seemingly nowhere, “Mom, did you pick your nose when you were a kid?”
I responded seriously, “No. I didn’t start picking my nose until I was a grown-up.”
He laughed and gave me a stereotypical, “Moooom!” reply. Then he was silent for a little while, until I heard him mutter under his breath, “I bet Dad picked his … AND ate them.”
The thoughts that come out of this kid’s mouth never fail to amuse me.
We are living through a pandemic where simple things like touching your own face are discouraged. We don masks if we have to venture out in public. We maintain six feet of distance from others. We worry about getting sick. We worry if we will get the healthcare we need if we do get sick. We worry about being able to get groceries for our families. The schools are empty. The playgrounds are empty. The restaurants are empty. The offices are empty.
It’s like we’re living in a dystopian novel.
We know we need to turn to God in the midst of this storm. We know we need to put our trust in Him and have faith. That’s not what this blog is about. What God impressed upon me today is the wonderful, kind and compassionate ways the world is responding to this crisis.
I watched an old episode of “7th Heaven” this morning with my son. Titled “I hate you,” the story centered on a Holocaust survivor sharing her story with a classroom full of young students, and the past and current ways we vilify others and unite in our disdain for them.
I started thinking about how it is times of trauma, crises, need, and shortage that often result in power-hungry and bigoted leaders rising up to power. As humans, we instinctively draw near to those who promise us safety, protection, and abundance, and particularly so in times of uncertainty. We need to guard ourselves against turning to false idols when we are afraid.
I don’t know about all of you, but I’m seeing a lot more support, kindness, and compassion in my corner of the world as we fight this unseen virus enemy. I pray it continues. Neighbors helping neighbors, parents spending quality time with their children, communities working together to feed those in need, the vast majority of us trying to protect the most vulnerable. Gratitude abounds for educators, healthcare workers, grocery store workers, and first responders.
I think we will look back at this time in history and see that we chose to appreciate life’s simple pleasures, and slowed down long enough to focus on what’s most important: relationships.
It’s ironic that it took governments forcing us to physically distance ourselves for us to utilize the technology we’ve had at our fingertips for years to truly connect with one another. It took not being able to spend time physically close to friends and family for us to take the time to reach out and have meaningful conversations with them. It took not having the option of going to church for millions of people to seek out worship online.
If we look, we will see a whole lot more going right than wrong.
So be encouraged. This, too, will pass. (But for the love, STAY HOME so it will pass quickly.) In the meantime, draw near to God, draw near to those He’s given into your care, and look for the many ways others are expressing His love all around you. Know that you can express that love, too, through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Stay home. Be blessed. And be a blessing to others.