I don’t wear a watch these days. There really isn’t much point.
I can check the kitchen clock as I go about my various projects.
Sometimes I have to do them quietly as Russ carries on his work at our kitchen table via phone calls and Zoom meetings.
I fix us lunch and we eat together and take a quick walk around the block before he returns to the table and I return to my to do list. Often that includes sitting here at this desk and spending the time I used to long for just following rabbit trails of thoughts.
While our life is quiet and in some ways far removed from the shocking realities others are dealing with, we are not ignorant of the ways this pandemic has shaken the core of all the systems that were in place.
All levels of business, relationships, churches, and governments are feeling the impact and if we didn’t have enough to keep us struggling to not worry, the media is happy to provide worst case scenarios to keep anxiety churning.
This pandemic has left no area of the industry Russ works with untouched and in the midst of the knowns and unknowns of his challenges, we are also deeply aware of the impact on others here and around the world.
They come to mind as we work through our day and we do what you are probably doing.
We choose to trust God. We pray. We do what we can do and we wonder what it will be like when “this thing” ends.
That’s what we have come to call it in our family texts.
“This thing” that has separated us here in our part of the world from those we love and from those around the world who are also separated and on it goes.
“This thing” lets us only connect through telecommunication, social media and six foot waving distance with others in our neighborhood when we are out walking.
“This thing” that has filled so many with fear.
“This thing”that has emptied schools and churches and workplaces, restaurants and ball fields and concert halls, board rooms and factories and businesses.
I can’t say we took it for granted, those places and people we were accustomed to seeing and talking to and living life with. We just didn’t know that we could all, the whole entire world, experience such an abrupt halt in our routines in such a brief span of time.
We wonder when “this thing” will end and what our “used to be” will look like in the aftermath.
This week as I realized, short of the most incredible nation-wide miracle where the numbers of cases drop to some incredibly low number or vanish (which believe me, is possible for God) I will experience my first ever Easter Sunday via a live feed.
As a side note, if that miraculous turn around happened, can you imagine the churches and pastors scrambling to open their doors???!!!! How fun would that be to see?
Yes, I know and agree with all the memes…
Spring has not been canceled.
Easter has not been canceled.
The celebration of the Resurrection has not been canceled.
The conquering of sin and death has not been canceled.
But celebrating in community with the Body of Christ gathered in one place? That has been canceled. As far as we know…
So as this reality began to sink in, and I felt a sadness in my heart, I would just pray and ask God to bring all of us in the Church here and around the world comfort and hope in the midst of all that we have seemed to lose.
As I would pray, an old bit of Scripture kept cropping up in my spirit.
It wasn’t like I had it memorized word for word, but the gist of the passage just kept rising in my thoughts…we were like those who dreamed and our hearts were filled with laughter and joy.
Those words became an anchor for the places in me that are longing to touch our family, to hug (sorry anti-huggers…but I want to hug my friends in the lobby of our church so badly right now), to look in their flesh and blood faces and not via some computer screen or from six feet away…and it rose in me as a promise that this time of isolation will end and we will be reunited.
Let me share the whole Psalm with you right now.
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
Our mouths were filled with laughter then, and our tongues with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us; we were joyful.
Restore our fortunes, LORD, like watercourses in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy, though one goes along weeping, carrying the bag of seed, he will sure come back with shouts of joy, carrying his sheaves.Psalm 126 a song of ascents CSB
Can you see that the bedrock of their restoration and joy was a foundation of sowing in tears?
Oh dear friends.
Yes indeed – pray for our God to restore our “fortunes”…but more than that I urge you to use this time of isolation to sow in tears.
Your broken hearts and longings are seeds sown and planted as you pray and meditate on what God is speaking to you.
Yes, to YOU.
While the whole world has been put on hold and while some of our fellow humans are still out there doing the thing they are called to do, any of us who have been given the time to carry a bag of seed…humbly take it up and plant a prayer, a word of encouragement, a conviction in your heart, whatever God is speaking to you in this season…sow that seed, water it with your tears.
May the Church of the Resurrected Christ tune into the Giver of all Life and do the hard work of this season – whatever the bag of seed God has given to you.
We will surely be restored.
We will surely reap a harvest from this time if we do not grow weary in doing what God has called us to do.
Remember this will pass and we want to come out on the other side with our arms full of the sheaves of all the harvest God intended for His people.
May the LORD bless you and keep you until we can laugh and be filled with joy as we see one another face to face <3