From my little book of verses in my purse.

Hmmmm. What should I write about? Did you know the world has turned upside down? And yes, the whole world! Instead of sports and politics, our news is consumed with updates on the Coronavirus, aided with pictures of germs and viruses that are blown up a million times plus. I guess the media thinks we want to know what this germ looks like up close, but I wish they would ease up on that.

I began to do my bible study this morning, and before I delved into it, I changed my mind. I have a small notebook I keep in my purse that contains many favorite verses. Instead of my bible study, I decided to indulge in receiving the comfort of those verses. No studying, just lingering in the presence of promises. Those verses melted over me, like the coolness of a morning evaporates while the sun rises into the sky, my soul warmed and snuggled into the Holy Spirit with hope and assurance that all would be well.

I’m glad I did that, because the morning’s memory rested on me like a seat belt, with a sense of security in spite of someone running a red light in my path. I ran errands for Juggle Source later in the day. Evidence all around me seemed as surreal as the colorful blown up coronavirus pictures that display on the TV screen.

Costco managed its customers with thoughtful and bold crowd management, Fred Meyer closed off coolers and other sections due to a power failure, and I heard someone say that Winco was closing for a week (that was not confirmed). There were no paper products or chicken at Costco, and shelves were bare at both stores. These scenes of unfamiliar chaos and strangeness caused me to question the certainty of this small part of the world that I know so well. Yet, my spirit was not defeated.

I was shaken, but I wanted to take it in. I want to see the people, desperate to get food that we assume will be waiting for us tomorrow. I shook my head for a minute at a woman who clearly saw that my position was ahead of her when she veered at an angle to grab my anticipated place in line.

Then I unshook my head, and thought of the opportunity I have to assist her in this tiny moment, by smiling and acknowledging her need, whatever it is. I want to see the the empty shelves and coolers, and know that I have something in common with people who live in countries half a world away from me. I want to encourage the cashier who I’ve seen a thousand times, but never paid her much attention. I want to check in on my neighbors, because being in this store in this moment might be more than what they can do on this day, and maybe more than I can do tomorrow.

I take a lot for granted, one being my health. But in this moment, I realize that I never considered some things to be precious. Toilet paper, and paper products in general, salt, touching, hugging, holding, and kissing people I love and care about.

Socializing, restaurants, and entertainment. Sports, teams, practicing, playing, competing, and preparing. Church, work, shopping, celebrations such as weddings and birthdays. These are all things precious today, tomorrow, and for who knows how long?

I want to move beyond the disappointment that this American life isn’t meeting my needs.  I want to inhale this life, breathe it in, breathe it out, but I must do it from at least six feet from you.

I want to exercise my faith in God. I want to grasp what’s at stake, take hold of it, and make use of it.

On this day I’m glad to be healthy and I hope to be used.

I’m also really grateful for “The Voice.”

And, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and Happy Birthday, Clare.

Yum. Well, the store only had purple cabbage. I already had to wash out purple splatters on my shirt, but purple or not. It is good!

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