Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Our Reality, Our Hope

Starting at midnight tonight, the Czech government announced that you can only go outside if your mouth and nose are covered by a mask, scarf or bandana - something that will slow the spread of Coronavirus even more.

I'd already heard from people who were out at grocery stores, that even though it was not law yet today, it was a "social" law. So I donned my mask and headed to Albert.

I didn't dare take a picture in the store as that would've been awkward and socially unacceptable!

But I can say, except for one man (that everyone was glaring looking at), every person was wearing some sort of protection over their mouth and nose, young and old. It was eery.

No one was talking in the store, and at the checkout counter the only thing I said to the woman there was "I'll pay by card." It felt lonely, even though there were quite a few people there.

Coming home, I so needed to feel "free" so took a walk down our lane, with my mask hanging around my neck in case I passed anyone.

The fresh air and sunshine was good for my heart!

This is only Day 3 of our enforced quarantine here in the Czech Republic, and already it feels ... strange.

At home, we're fine. Caleb, Haley, Charlie and Jenna (who turns three weeks old tomorrow!) are here since they're not able to travel back to Albania at this time. We have happy chatter throughout the day from 2 1/2 year old Charlie - and precious Jenna, who melts all of our hearts day by day by just being a sweet baby!

It's going out that feels so strange. You take for granted how nice it is to run into people you know and greet them freely; or how nice it is even to watch other people happily talking to their friends on the street.

Instead, even people driving in cars have masks covering their mouths and noses. And it just looks sad and strange.

When I came home, I sat outside for a bit to think about this new reality, and contemplate how to get a different perspective on it. I don't want to be sad during this time! A post from Claire on Instagram was the beginning of heartening thoughts.

I looked up the author of this, and she wrote it just two days ago on her blog! What I love about it is all I learned of her in the comments of people who found the blog post and wrote to her.

She hadn't written anything on her blog since 2017, and in fact, had a "farewell" post that said she was moving on to other things.

And then...this post happened, which has exploded over FB and Instagram these past two days! She wrote:

..."I saw the maps that showed such great reduction in the pollution over China, and then the clearing moved over Europe; I hope it’s happening here in my country, too…and I thought what good could come from a time of such suffering. Then, the Spirit knocked me upside the head and I cobbled out the poem and it kind of spun out of my control…another opportunity for self-awareness! I am so blessedly happy the small words have touched hearts and soothed."

And that makes me think...what all does the Lord have for THE WORLD in the midst of this crisis?

A few days ago I wrote our JV team:

Given the circumstances we, and the rest of world, face right now, I encourage you more than ever, to kneel, stand, walk, sit, run and bow to God…IN PRAYER. Think of what might happen if we pray as never before during this unusual time in history?! Could this concentrated time of prayer bring in the harvest and stir the revival that we’ve been praying for?

This unusual time where the whole world is slowing down, might bring about changes (for good, I pray!) and an awareness of our vulnerability that would NEVER COME ANY OTHER WAY!

And that makes me want to seek the Lord and ask him what he has specifically for me during this time, and pray the same for everyone else. There is so much to hope for, believing that God truly is in control.

Just today I was reading Psalm 50 and so struck by the first verse: "The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth, from the rising of the sun to where it sets."

The Psalm goes on to say, "Listen, my people, and I will on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you will honor me...".

This is an unprecedented time for stopping to listen to His voice! And for stopping to actually THANK HIM for this time.

The Psalm finishes with this, "Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation."

So with this thought, I'll enter into tomorrow, Day Four ,from a different perspective - with a thankful heart that God is in this, and will lead us through it. Our God shines forth, our God comes and will not be silent...and this is hopeful!!

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