No, the image is not a sketch of me, but it did remind me of my grandmother who died fifty years ago at the age of eighty-one. So, there’s kind of a link. Sort of.
When I was planning my March blog posts in February, I had no inkling of the Coronavirus making such dramatic changes in our lives. The light-hearted idea meant to be this post might find its way to the blog later in the year.
But the truth is that I am over sixty and single. I am isolated. With issues in my life that kept me pretty much at home the last few years, and a passion for writing, which kept it easy for me to isolate, suddenly I am realizing that the life I enjoy is now being experienced in some degree by others for whom it isn’t so enjoyable.
I have to say, so much of the tough part of the pandemic related self-isolation is a mind and heart thing. Even though I am used to isolation, I live in a senior housing complex and we are almost on a shutdown. The doors are locked, lessoning random visitors. Our community spaces are off-limits. We have been advised not to congregate in the hallways. Just not having those options lets me see to some extent what others might be going through. As a single, I have no one to walk alongside me in the process of self-isolation. If a primarily non-social person is ‘feeling’ the impact of social separation, then I know that I have to keep my mind, my heart, centered on Christ.
Things are going to go wrong. Things aren’t going to work the way they used to. Adapt and go on, I’ve told myself. Just today I had a small grocery order delivered and half of what I’d ordered was out of stock. So, I’ll adapt, and get back to basics. Which means really cooking. It is a positive direction giving me healthier food and saving money.
I’ve seen a lot of negativity and anger on social media. A lot of people who believe they are being lied to, that the virus isn’t as serious as everyone is saying. It’s hard to wrap your mind around something like a world-wide pandemic. It’s hard to adjust to the fact that this very likely isn’t going to be a short-termed thing.
But as believers, we are comforted in knowing that even in isolation we are not alone. We know that the Lord is always with us. We know that we are being prayed for by other believers, even as we, in turn, pray for others. We know that no matter what happens here, this is not our final destination, and the day is coming when nothing like this will ever happen again. But for now, we have to face the reality of the world we live in. People are getting sick. People are dying. Our greatest strategy is to prevent others from getting COVID-19. I read something the other day that spoke to me. “Change your behavior in trying not to get the virus. Act as if you have it and don’t want to give it to anyone else.”
That sounds like Jesus to me. Put others above yourself. Focus on what benefits others. All while focusing on doing what is right. When you do get a chance to talk with someone, use the opportunity to exercise kindness. When you are on social media, focus on the upbeat. If you follow me, you’ll see posts of ridiculous and funny memes. Laughter is like medicine. It loosens up the tightness in your heart and mind and offers a sense of camaraderie and sharing with others.
I’ve been doing an online study on the book of Hebrews. Each morning I get into the Word in one way or another. The Hebrews study, reading, listening to the audio Bible…it keeps me grounded. If your church has canceled services, I hope they are providing some online options for you. If not, there are many, many live services available.
I’m considering doing an online Bible study for anyone who is interested. More on that later.
Well, this has once again turned into a letter to my friends. But I write as the Lord leads, and sometimes we just need to touch base in any way we can.
God bless you – Vicki
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.