Random thoughts on quarantine, prayers and thankfulness…

This is a weird time to be in right now. The requirement of being home is quite different than wanting to be at home or choosing to be home. When I want or choose to be home, it’s like giving myself the gift of permission to just “be” and that feels safe and cozy and pleasant, something to savor and appreciate. With a lot of things feeling off kilter and out of balance, I feel a bit lost in being home and it not being my choice. Errands that were annoying and exasperating a few months ago, begin looking so lovely! An opportunity to get out! Go! Do! Accomplish! But, that’s not how life is right now. It is eerie being out, strange to feel exposed and vulnerable just doing what I always do. It is odd to need a mask on my face to feel some semblance of safety, yet not really knowing where the threat is coming from…is it the guy over there by the bread? The woman, with no mask on, coughing, by the eggs? The seemingly strong and fit younger guy browsing the veggies? Or the couple walking by with their dogs, trying to enjoy some sun? It is a disconcerting knowing there is a real threat out there but having no idea exactly where it is lurking or if I am the threat to someone else.

I love to pray, intercede and talk to Jesus during the day. There are times when I feel unsure and overwhelmed by all the need in the world and next door and in the next state and in my own home, that I literally do not know how to pray for all of this. We haven’t experienced this before and there isn’t a “set way” to do it. This truly is beyond us. But God… sitting on my patio thinking about how to pray for ALL of this, God reminded me of Romans 8:26, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” That’s comforting. He knows how this is going to turn out. He knows what He is going to do and not do, who He is going to equip and raise up for such a time as this. It’s been in preparation for eternity and this virus has not taken God by surprise. He’s gifting scientists and researchers and healthcare workers with wisdom, creativity and intellect to tackle this and we aren’t left all alone in it. Filtered through His hands. When we don’t know what or how to pray, it is perfectly ok to say, “Here it is God, here’s all the need and fear and illness and death and unknown, so just here, take it, heal it, work it out and please just give us You.” He’s enough.

There is a book I like reading each morning – Jesus Calling. I loved yesterday’s reading. “When you focus on what you don’t have or on situations that displease you, your mind also becomes darkened. You take for granted life, salvation, sunshine, flowers and countless other gifts from Me. You look for what is wrong and refuse to enjoy life until that is “fixed.” Negative focus darkens the mind. Hmmm. Yes, I think it does. Right now, there are a lot of things that are not going our way, that seem impossible to surmount, that are terrifying and unknown and create so much fear and panic and feelings of lack. I think it is healthy to acknowledge all the things that displease, frighten and anger us. If ignored and denied, those feelings and fears fester and grow and threaten to take over. But, once looked at and acknowledged, maybe we can choose to look about us with clear eyes, open minds and expansive hearts to find things to be thankful for that are good, positive and bring joy. What if we were present and not attempting to rehearse the future, imagine what post-virus life is going to be like and just be and see what is in front of us. There will be terrible things, but I need to believe there will be just as many, if not more, good things right in front of us; maybe hidden by the large looming pandemic, but still there. Simple things like warm sun, chilly rain, 11 day old baby kittens in my guest room, sunrise and sunset, birds singing, coffee on the patio, a walk in the neighborhood looking at all the flowers, the actual chance to sit, to be, to stare at nothing…

I know this is random and disjointed, so thank you for sticking with me, if you made it this far, but this is my mind right now. I don’t have this figured out and I don’t know how to do this either. I can guarantee my mind will go to dark places, probably even today, but I know I can pull my thoughts back up and refocus as many times as I need to and so can you. The one constant I know completely and has never failed me is Jesus. He’s never left us and He’s not going to now.

I pray His peace and presence all over every one of you!