From Margaret

During this whole coronavirus experience, I have struggled with various dueling considerations --

We are told to be brave, to shine like a light amidst the fear around us. And yet, the best thing for us is to stay home, so as to flatten the curve. As much as I want to be bold, I also want to be wise and humble, and do what is truly helpful to the real heroes right now.

I want to encourage those around me, to speak words of hope and courage. And yet, who am I to speak during a time like this, sheltering comfortably and safely at home?

I feel so blessed for this time with my family, getting to teach my kids so many things we haven't had time to learn; being able to pray regularly, read the word, and have great family devotions together; hike in gorgeous weather in picturesque green hills. And yet, knowing that daily, essential workers -- including my brother, who works as an ICU doctor -- go into work, imagining worst case scenarios, knowing that they are inadequately protected by their government and health care system. That many families are fearful of losing their businesses and livelihoods.

My neighbor warns and scolds me for continuing to make my infrequent grocery trips, and urges me to use her online grocery shopping account instead. And yet, isn't that asking other people to make themselves vulnerable for me?

I want to make our time in lockdown productive, encouraging our kids to keep up their skills in art, music, chess, writing... Being involved in our school's PTA, there are still Fall Festivals to plan, board positions to fill, budgets to prepare. And yet, when I watch the news, I feel the nagging thought of "What is the point? What good does any of it do now??"

***

When my thoughts begin to spiral, I know I need to go back to Colossians 3:23 -- "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men..."

And so, I do the little I feel able to do safely. I buy food and supplies to donate, order takeout from local restaurants, and offer to grocery shop for my immunocompromised neighbors. My daughter and I make chalk drawings on our driveway with messages of hope and love. My kids and I stick letters and drawings on the doors of our neighbors, to let them know we're thinking of them. We host virtual game nights, to help connect people and provide a short time of levity, where COVID-19 isn't the primary topic of discussion. I ordered fabric to make my family cloth masks, so as not to take away the real masks from those on the frontline. I had never bought hand sanitizer or Lysol wipes regularly, so haven't during these times. (Does that count as bravery?) I remind my brother that I am praying for him, and to be strong and courageous, because the Lord is with him wherever he goes.

And finally, I surrender. I surrender the future, I surrender thinking I'll know what the right thing to do is. I continue to pray for His mercy, and for the safety of all the selfless souls who are working to care for and protect us. Mostly, I pray that desperate hearts will be drawn to the only One who has defeated disease, despair, and death.

Trusting in Him,

Margaret