On a vacation at the coast a few weeks back my granddaughter Mattie eagerly asked me to get up our first morning to watch the sun rise with her. She faithfully woke me for the event and we padded out on the deck to watch the beautiful show that God puts on every day whether or not anyone is paying attention.
These days coronavirus has us in its ugly grip. We can’t gather for church, we can’t shop except for necessities, we can’t even visit our families in our usual lighthearted way. Many are working from home. The internet is overloaded. The streets are empty. When I see new clips showing Wall Street and Bourbon Street I shudder at the lack of traffic by foot or auto. We seek curbside service even for a watch repair. At Cairo Animal Hospital clients call from the parking lot, a tech comes out to receive the patient and brings it back when treatment/shots/exams are complete. Everywhere we go, which is only by necessity, folks are wearing masks. It makes me feel as if we got dumped into a science fiction movie.
BUT–the sun rises and sets every day right on time. Birds are singing and nesting. The wind stirs leaves of magnolia and maple. The grass is green, rosemary lends its calming scent, and children play their games. The mulberry tree has an abundant crop of berries developing and the birds are discovering the tasty morsels, shaking the boughs with their foraging. No squirrels as yet. Bluebird scouts splash happily in the bird bath.
While sewing masks for Archbold Hospital, I pray for those who will wear them. I worry about my friends in nursing homes and then realize the mail is still running so we can all send cards and letters. The phones work too. We can call family members in California, Florida, Alabama as well as friends down the street. We are so blessed!
We’re told by authorities that this will be “a very hard week.” Families all over the globe will face illness and death. My friend Lisa just reminded me that this was “a very hard week” for Jesus too. Yes, it’s Easter week, the holiest week of the year, when we remember Christ’s sacrifice and celebrate His resurrection.
It will be a very different Easter. Revonda says her church will be participating in virtual communion Thursday night. Members will gather at their computers with whatever elements they can use, whether wine, grape juice, unsalted crackers or bread, and share the “Last Supper.” We have already experienced several weeks of “virtual church” on Sunday mornings. We had hoped to be back in our pews for a literal time of rejoicing on Easter. But we will just have to sing “Hallelujah” in our homes. We realize more than ever before that the church is God’s people, not a building.
We have always enjoyed big family dinners on Easter Sunday as I’m sure you have too. After dinner some would hide the eggs for excited children to hunt. Well, we may have virtual baby showers and virtual doctor appointments but I haven’t thought of any way to have a virtual egg hunt. I’m planning to boil some eggs nonetheless. Maybe I’ll even color a couple of them with a cross on one side and “He is risen” on the other.
Charles has just finished planting wildflowers in and around an old wheelbarrow. We saw our neighbors unloading a huge pile of branches they’d cut and we went over to chat a minute, standing at least six feet apart. Our days are full but not hectic, definitely slowed from the fast pace of a few weeks ago. We get excited about small things like lunch, a new bird at the bird bath, a flower we hadn’t noticed before.
I know “this too shall pass.” I know that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
And I know the sun will rise until Jesus comes.
I remember that beautiful sunrise Mattie and I enjoyed so much. One other morning Charles and I watched a sunrise while sitting in a swing looking out over the bay. The colors are different every day. Sometimes the colors are soft and muted, others so vivid and rich. Sometimes the mist shrouds the brightness or the sun doesn’t appear at the horizon but in full force above a cloud. Sometimes the sun comes up like a huge egg yolk and sometimes it reminds me of a child throwing back the covers in passionate eagerness to see what the day may bring.
No matter what, the sun does rise, even if we can’t see it. It is a daily reminder that God is at work. He hasn’t forgotten us. As an old song says, “He has the whole world in His hands.”