It is time for me to take my advice from Ten Tips to Survive Staying Home. The first tip is, “Change at least one thing.” Today I needed to change my writing location because I’ve had writer’s block. Yet, I feel a deeper need to take care of our home and close relationships because these are Holy Ground. My family, grandchildren and close friends stand out in bold print on the page of my life right now. As many of you know, I lost a long-time friend to Covid-19. I suspect that is another reason I have written little since this tribute to her.
If you have missed my posts, I’m sorry. If you didn’t notice my absence from your in-box, then I am even sorrier. Regardless, there are days that I must write because sometimes I just can’t keep whatever is reverberating inside of me from spilling onto the page. Some people say the same is true when I open my mouth—but that is a topic for another day. The bottom line is, I believe in the power of words.
Today, none of us can afford to go silent. Today, more than ever, it’s important to support Freedom of the Press. (Oops! There it is again, my opinion spilling onto the page.) We must all protect our freedom, but not to the detriment of our neighbor. I read a news article this morning about an all-American ice-cream shop forced to close because of cruel profanities spewing from selfish customers. They were unhappy because their order for ice cream took too long. (If you were sitting with me at my kitchen table as I write this post, I would no doubt open my mouth and spill the words, “What is wrong with people?”)
We are stir-crazy in this pandemic and want the stay-put order to end so we can get back to normal, whatever that means. Many people cannot wait to hug their grandchildren and get their hair cut or go out for ice cream. We can behave in better ways when we do however. We don’t need to insist they serve us first, yell profanities or judge someone because they still wear a mask in the grocery store. (Thank you, if you wear a mask.)
We will face more challenges ahead of us from this pandemic. God responded to Jeremiah’s complaint. “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5 NIV) My summary of that verse is, “If you think this is tough, just wait!”
We need to stretch ourselves to do what Jesus asked us to do. We need to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength. Jesus said the second greatest commandment is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 NIV)
We need to hang in there through these tough times so we are prepared and ready for even more tough times. If you’re missing the gym, consider this pandemic as an opportunity for spiritual muscle building. 1 Corinthians 1:13:4 says, “Love is patient, love is kind.”
Show patience and be kind to others to the best of your ability. Trust that God sees the bigger picture. He knows your heart and your struggle. God is still bigger than pandemics and angry profanity spewing customers and even the minor problem of writer’s block. We just need to trust Him at his Word.
Okay. I have spilled enough.