“...the most interesting moment of a person’s life is what happens to them when all their certainties go away.
Then who do you become?
And then what do you look for?
...that’s the moment when the universe is offering up an invitation saying, come and find me...” — Elizabeth Gilbert
Indeed this month a lot of our certainties have been pulled out from under us and tossed up into the air and we are left waiting, hopeful, looking to the heavens for them to fall back down and land peacefully back in tack. Certainties that range in sizes as small as toilet paper and eggs in a grocery store to things much larger such as our paychecks, our childcare and our education.
We are upside down in our routines and many parents have now added several other responsibilities to their already overwhelming resume. We are watching local leaders, state leaders and national leaders multiple times a day, hanging on their every word, all while trying to lead our own small battalion within arms length.
As patience whittles away we’ve unloaded wars of words and hostility across the internet pointing fingers at easy, vulnerable targets. We’re balancing our mental health on a high-wire tightrope and balancing our checkbooks on all the prayers we know how to pray.
And in all of this we remain on an island of our own, in a world where social interaction had become not only the norm but the expectation.
So this is what I’ve watched, been reminded of, learned and come to know during this novel coronavirus pandemic:
To live and work and breathe the air of a rural small town is a one-of-a-kind experience and there’s no other setting I wish to permanently live in.
There is something oddly comforting in a small plate of Kraft mac n' cheese, when you haven’t had it for many years.
For those who don’t love yoga, two completed pages using a plethora of crayons in any given coloring book is equally as relaxing and beneficial.
Plants that have been forgotten in the winter chill, much like humans respond well to a little attention and sugar water.
The birds are still gathering about, fluttering around and singing their songs content and carefree, which only reminded me of the verse in Matthew where Jesus tells his followers not to be anxious about food, but to rely on God as the birds, who are worth far less than people, are fully provided for.
A home's kitchen can serve as much nourishment, if not more than, from the engagement of the folks gathered in it, as the meal the kitchen produces.
It is not a bad idea for middle aged men and women to revisit the content of fourth-grade.
In troubled times an impromptu tailgate lunch in an empty parking lot with a best friend is as common sense as hand washing.
What will we become in these most unusual of circumstances? What will we choose as our legacy?
The helpers? The hope givers? The informers? The drama kings and queens? The calm in the storm? A mender of fences? The tool that spread the fear? The bully?
If there was ever a time for God’s people to shine, it’s now, inside our own little messy families, for all the broken world to see.