And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Sharpening Arrows While Waiting in the Father’s Hands
I waited in line to buy some things for my mom this morning and was surprised at how quickly the regulations of social distancing have shifted. Just last week, I was already noticing the shifts. I felt a bit outdated—I didn’t wear a mask and had brought my reusable bags on a trip to the grocery store. Today, however, waiting in line was quite different. Old habits are hard to break.
At times, I am hopeful, filled with excitement and delight. Other times, not so much. I am despondent, melancholy.
At the grocery store, a man regulates how far apart I stand from the lady in front of me at the check-out. In fact, he tells me where to stand. This line, not that one. I see stickers on the floors of the aisles. Arrows lead the way.
I don’t browse the aisles anymore. I want to get in, get out, and get on with my life. The tension is thick. You can only look at people’s eyes to get a clue of what they are feeling. Are they smiling at you, or frowning?
I stand and wait. I think about all the handled food, boxes, bags, carts. All the touching here and there. I cannot get close to anyone and they cannot get close to me. Some don’t wear a face covering. Some prefer to be exposed.
When I’m not experiencing this hypervigilance, I feel guilty for enjoying some of the effects of all this pandemonium. The streets are clear. When I travel long distance, I arrive in record time. (Los Angeles traffic has made me hungry to see barren freeways). My family delivers food everyday and the demand is high, the tips are good. People are more sanitary than ever before! I’m a persistent hand-washer by nature, and truth be told, before all this, I reluctantly shook hands with others.
I still kiss my children, squeeze them tight and close. Wrap them under my wings.
I’ve longed to see my husband work from home. He had a daily commute of 1.5 hours, one way, to Orange County. Now, he sits at my desk with his laptop, and fields calls from there. Not commuting to and from the office adds an entire 3 hours to his day, which means more time for things such as delivering food to shut-ins or tinkering with projects. Bosses and CEOs are seeing the value of their employees’ time, realizing that meetings could be an email and that yes, their job can be done from home. What a concept!
Our children are homeschooled, but I am grateful we are on Spring Break and the timing couldn’t have been better. We are encouraged to pick up lunches at the local school curbside, even though our children don’t attend a government school, so they’ve been happy to get in the car to pick up something new for them to enjoy. I know some parents don’t want the school-at-home to last much longer, but I am in prayer for them especially. I pray that as mothers hug their children every day, that they become more aware of what their children are learning, and furthermore, that they develop a deep appreciation for their role in the home. May they embrace homeschooling, knowing their children are better for it, knowing they are a gift from God and not a burden on their careers.
My writing, however, has suffered a bit this past month. I don’t steal away to go to the local hotel lobby—a remote office space—to write. I wake up and activate the AI assistant on my phone to speak the news. I sleep in, too, now. I’m not in a hurry to get things done because there are no people to meet, places to go, or deadlines to meet. I have absolute freedom and my kids do too. It’s astounding, given the circumstances. But I’m patient, because I know the writing will get done, as I give myself room to stay still in this moment we find ourselves in.
How are you dealing with the sudden changes in your daily life? Has it changed much at all?