Among the other news of the last week, an article in the Los Angeles Times caught my eye: “As the Coronavirus Pandemic Grows, Gun Sales are Surging in Many States.” As we figured out how to get Eldest home from college when his university closed, getting Youngest through second semester finals (before his school closed), and moving worship on-line with two days’ notice (after the senior living community we worship in closed to all visitors), I didn’t think once to buy a gun and ammunition.
As we enter into this brave new world, we are negotiating many new realities. I’ve had a cough and headache (no fever), so I have self-quarantined for a week. We’ve made different grocery lists, planning to be in the house for a while. We’re working on a new chore list since all four of us our home… all the time. We’ve made sure we have enough toilet paper.
At church, we’ve moved our meetings to Zoom. Worship is on-line (you can join us each Sunday at 10:00 am at www.heritagechurchmuskego.com). We are putting on our creativity hats as we plan for Easter on-line or at least six feet apart.
As I settle into long-term planning during the pandemic (this is going to last longer than a few weeks), I still haven’t thought about buying a gun and ammunition. Texting with a congregant about another congregant who we are concerned about, she mentioned that her adult son is still working at this job. He said they are really busy – because everyone “is buying ammo just in case.”
Folks, this is not where we should place our energy. If you are going out to the store, bypass the guns and pick up some groceries for your neighbor or drop some off at your local food pantry.
If you are out taking a walk, say hi to everyone whether you know them or not. Living alone, you might be the only they see that day. Call or video chat with someone today. As it gets warmer, spend some time working in your yard. Or while you can, get some seeds and dirt and plant in a pot. Watch things come alive and grow. Write a letter to someone (I think that’s still OK). Send video chats to your friends and family. Read a book.
Make sure no one repays a wrong with a wrong, but always pursue the good for each other and everyone else. Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 (CEB)
A few years ago when I was sidelined with tendonitis, I wondered if there was a way to be thankful for this time I found myself in? Can we find a way to be grateful each day? It’s not about being thankful for the pandemic but finding ways to give thanks — and share hope — in the midst of it.
As we navigate this, I will not let go of the joy of having my family of four together. This is time that was lost to us except for a few days or a week here and there. I’m going to savor it. We will have time to see my parents, after we self-quarantine for two weeks. This time is often difficult to find since I work on Sundays.
Beloved, this pandemic is real. We have a hard road in front of us and we walk it somewhat blindly. But in all things, we have hope and a reason to be thankful. Look for them. Savor them. And share them with others.
We have a choice whether we live in fear or hope.We are not thankful for the pandemic, but we can find ways to give thanks — and share hope — in the midst of it. #hope #love #quarantinelife #givethanks Click To Tweet
Faithful and loving God, illness and death remind us of our lack of control. They make us face our mortality honestly and without denial. Jesus, remind us that life in you is more than death. Help us to live abundantly in the gifts of the Spirit, strengthening us for what we confront in each day to come. Bring peace to our fear. Give us perseverance in difficulty. Provide comfort in sickness. Keep us in death. And in these new and uncertain times, let us learn love and be loved anew. Amen.