Well, it's been no church for five weeks now without a re-start date on the calendar as of this post. During this time I've experienced a lot of virtual church services, especially those from my own familiar place of worship with my favorite worship leaders in place. Daily devotion time has been rich, and I've spent more time in prayer and quiet reflection than for a long time simply because it's easier to be still and focused when ordered to stay put. It was very hard to begin with not to be able to visit in hospitals, homes and nursing homes, but finally reality set in and I resigned myself to just staying put for a time.
I've taken long walks with others who live with me and watched a lot of TV. That means I've caught re-runs of re-runs of Mash, Andy Griffin, Hogan's Heroes, Colombo, etc. and I've spent a considerable amount of time working from home on my laptop. I have the Johns Hopkins COVID19 dashboard saved as a shortcut on my desktop (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/) and I refer to it several times a day to keep up with the latest "virus" statistics. What I do not do is keep my TV tuned to a station that broadcasts news continually. The local news at 5:00 am, 6:00 and 11:00 pm are sufficient to keep me posted on world events and local virus related news. Finally, I'm enjoying the benefits of the Amazon Prime membership I pay for, other than free shipping on purchases. To my amazement, there are some wonderful documentaries on the Holy Land and Jerusalem, as well as some of my favorite old movies.
I have my masks, and I've listened to those who say it's essential to wear them in public and also to those who say it's really not a good idea or advisable unless you're symptomatic. And typical of so many subjects in America today, the debate goes on, and on and on. So I just keep one in my car, and one in my purse, and several at home and in my office at church, and decide on what seems appropriate for the moment.
Living in a four generation household makes life during a pandemic anything but boring. When I said I've watched a lot of TV and Amazon Prime, did I mention movies like Sonic the Hedgehog, Spongebob Square Pants, Winnie the Pooh, and a bizillion Blippi videos for kids? I've also "learned" to play a Nintendo Switch and PacMan. When the weather has cooperated, and we can play outside, I've been outsmarted at soccer by a five year old and played catch and kick ball until my very out of shape body gasped for help. Finally another adult in the family will say, "Ammaw, why don't you act your age?" And I say, "I think I'll do just that!" as I collapse.
Well, now for the question, "After COVID-19, what?" Whatever our immediate future holds, life won't be the same as it was on January 1st. But one thing is very clear, even if our way of life is uncertain, there is one constant that has not and will not change - God is still in control and He is absolutely present in our world. According the the ancient writing of Isaiah, "I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. . . Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one." (Isaiah 44:6b, 8) Take heart and be of good courage, dear ones. Our God is awake, and His Spirit is stirring among us in our world. Let's stay alert and see what He's about to do. Claim the peace He promises and experience the wonder of just being in His Presence.