NOTE: Marilyn Bazett-Jones serves as an officer elder at Green Bay Community Church. She is a mother, grandmother, sister, daughter and friend and has been writing inspirational words on her blog for more than a decade. She is the author of the book "Life, Love and Loss."
It's Day 60 of the coronavirus lockdown and this is what I see:
We’re learning to let go of what we can’t control – which is most of it! I do what I can and leave the rest to God.
We are learning to communicate more, maybe better, with those most dear in our lives. Whether through Zoom, Skype, video call, visiting through a closed glass door, on a porch or in a driveway, we are adapting – using new technologies and going back to old ones.
I notice we are more focused, appreciative for the technology, looking into faces, and respectfully aware of taking turns in conversation, and drawing out the quieter voices.
Many have the gift of free time for projects, like home organization, cleanup, yard improvements, or artistic creations. Some take the time for additional rest or self-care. We might be getting outside more, trying new hiking trails. We might be eating better because there are fewer temptations (only what I brought in the house). Some are trying new recipes, doing various forms of exercise, starting different routines.
We can choose good content in online bible studies, inspirational classes, or virtual tours of national parks, museums, and resorts. Some take advantage of regular family movie or game times.
It seems we are reinventing creativity – or at least revisiting it. What meal can I make with the groceries I have left? How can we celebrate birthdays or anniversaries (or Easter or Mother’s Day) while staying safer at home? What things can we take apart to use the fabric or elastic? How can I repurpose this item?
Some express themselves through music, artwork, photography, and humor to cheer others and uplift spirits. When we’re tired of being alone, we look outward to see how we can encourage others in quarantine.
In spite of greater personal space or social distancing, we are closing that gap by showing love. We greet one another on the walking trails and thank people for serving us in the “essential” jobs, when we may have previously overlooked those courtesies. We wrap the neighborhood in hope and healing with chalk messages in our driveways and colored hearts in windows and doors.
We are learning to be more discerning about the many conflicting messages in the media. This may mean setting better boundaries or using more restraint. We check our sources, do our research, and don’t believe everything we see or read. We choose reliable resources to stay informed and live with faith, not fear.
We learn to give grace and show compassion because there are many who have experienced greater changes and losses than our own. A multitude of emotions are present in many different situations, and we do well to be patient and overlook a few misspoken words. We can listen kindly and share strength.
It warms my heart to see more people joining in prayer, providing a steadfast example, and generously giving. The spirit of humanity is alive and well as we rise to this challenge. If we are open, we soon will find we have grown in some deeper dimension and learned great things of lasting value.
It is a time to live out the fullness of our faith. Especially in these uncertain days, one thing is constant: God is ever near and His love is unfailing. This time of pause can refine us and bring out the best – a stronger commitment, more unity, generosity, humility, and resiliency – so that we can emerge and evolve to a better place together.
Our Loving Father, I pray you would change me, change us, change our world through this pandemic lockdown. May it not be wasted, but bring forth the change You want to see. Amen.