Life Interrupted Again

Just when things were looking up, life…

Hello, Thursday Morning readers!

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. — Thomas Paine, 1776

Changes happen, sometimes in the blink of an eye. This time, it’s not just me and my life. It’s all of us. It’s a war of a different sort and ordinary folks are being called upon to serve or to stay.

I was looking forward to a vacation in a couple of weeks, our first in three years. I thought I needed time off to chill and just be, without all the responsibilities that surround me right now. Time with my spouse, who is also busy, working hard.

Our plans were interrupted in an instant. Not just our plans or our lives, but everyone’s. That makes it a bit more bearable, knowing we are all in this together.

I never expected to see some of the things I’ve seen in the past week. Hoarding, empty shelves at the groceries and warehouses. Empty restaurants. Empty roads. Empty schools. Empty parking lots at some of our largest companies.

It’s haunting. My heart aches for those who are not working, who need those paychecks.

I hate that I can’t visit Mom. But at least she’s home now, safe in her own apartment. Little brother takes her meals every day. Nurses visit throughout the week. If she’d been in the rehab/nursing home a couple more weeks, she would’ve been under quarantine and no one could visit. I see God’s hand in that.

In the midst of all this, I’ve seen good things, too. Happy things, like children playing in their yards, their joyful voices blending with birdsong.

Churches finding ways to meet with and sustain their congregations—a huge challenge made somewhat easier by technology. History reveals that the church tends to grow stronger when tested.

Some changes seem negative on the surface but one thing is certain, our strength is revealed in the tough times.

I’ve seen neighbors spreading the news about local restaurants who are still cooking their delicious meals for carryout. Some of those neighbors are buying gift cards for other neighbors who are home without pay. On a local television station’s website, you can buy a $20 pizza gift card for only $10.

My friend, Rhonda Dragomir is sharing helpful hints and ideas, using the hashtag #covidea. Look her up on Facebook and Twitter (@RhondaDragomir).

Good things. Blessings. We can all do these kinds of things and more. I encourage you to find ways to be a blessing through the shutdowns and the quarantines. We are a resilient nation. I’m proud of us.

So, while some of the things I’ve yearned for and looked forward to have been postponed, I know God has a plan.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.- Jeremiah 29:11

What are some of the good things happening in your neck of the woods?