I was recently standing in a restaurant take-out line for lunch. You know the scene, I’m sure. You’re standing there with a surgical mask firmly in place over your nose and mouth, and Xs on the sidewalk that show you where to stand six feet apart. Then someone comes out the door with their order and everybody takes a step or two away from them as they pass. I’m suddenly feeling like we’re all magnets at the same pole (the negative one, I’m sure), and we’re all pushing each other away. Anything under six feet, we feel the push. It’s a global push-back and it’s not good for humanity. We understand it’s for everyone’s safety, but so much of this new social behavior feels like distrust. “Don’t get too close; you might have it … I might have it, for that matter.” And today’s paper bears the headline, “Distancing urged through summer.”
Through summer? It’s not even May yet. Even if we do get past this threat (and we will) how will we go back to where we were? When will we be screaming next to each other in a crowd? When will we be high-fiving a home run with strangers? When will we be seeing each other’s full faces in public?
I worry that we will get too used to this. I guess that’s because I know how isolated I like to be, and now I have an excuse. But even I am getting tired of this. Maybe when we do go back, we’ll appreciate each other more.
Somehow we’re going to have to learn how to trust again. How do we stop being suspicious? Who do we trust? Ultimately we’re going to have to trust the Lord. It comes down to believing that God is in control. This thing is going to go no farther than He wants it to go. As my brother pointed out in his online sermon yesterday, if God asked Job if he could tell the oceans, as He could, “This far and no farther,” then surely He will not let this pandemic go any farther than He wills. God stops oceans. He’s not wringing His hands over this. He’s in control. That knowledge provides hope and stability and the stamina to move on.
One positive aspect of this sheltering at home is that it has created opportunities for creativity to be expressed. My niece’s family is extremely talented and experienced in musical theater and providing worship experiences for their church of which my brother and his wife are pastors. They have created this wonderful family video which is a must-see even if I wasn’t a little biased towards it. So click here for: “If Only … A Family Quarantine Song,” and enjoy.