Until Further Notice
I am writing this during the second week of “social distancing;” an attempt to help our world get a bit of control over the Covid-19 virus. It is imperative that we all work together, if we are to ever have some semblance of normality again. It is a precarious tightrope that we walk; balancing between distancing ourselves for the sake of isolating the germs, and working hard to meet the needs of the most fragile around us. It is a time like never before. We are seeing the very best—and the very worst—in our fellow man. Through it all you have been trying to stay positive, yet realistic; productive, yet calm. Above all, you have been looking to Christ, who is truly worthy of your faith and trust.
As you read this letter some time in the future, I want you to remember what this felt like. Remember that feeling of isolation as you stay in your home for the greater good. Remember the coldness of the phone screen as you long to reach out and snuggle your new grandbaby. Remember the longing to embrace your mother as you talk to her on the phone through her apartment window. Remember the insecurity of friends and family who have lost their main source of income. Remember the disappointment, day after day, of hearing that your favorite places and activities – even churches — are now closed “until further notice.”
I also want you to remember the incredible strength and resilience of so many people around you. Remember the healthcare workers who sacrifice their own health and safety for the sake of others. Remember the teachers who have continued to educate with incredible creativity and perseverance in an unfamiliar format. Remember the retail workers and community workers, who have selflessly sacrificed family time and their own safety to keep the shelves stocked and the doors open to us. Remember the pastors and churches who immediately began developing ways to continue ministering to their congregations, even though they can no longer gather for worship.
Never have you been so grateful for an opportunity to take a walk in the sunshine with a friend- six feet apart, of course. Never before have you breathed a prayer of thanksgiving when your local supermarket has that thing that you need the most. And never before have you appreciated so fully all of the comforts that you enjoy – a warm home, a full pantry, and Wi-Fi. J
Remember these things, so you never again take for granted what has been simply “ordinary” until now. From this day forward, please vow to fully appreciate every chance to gather with friends and family. Embrace every opportunity to shake a hand, hug a neck, or snuggle a baby. Enjoy every ray of sunshine, and every breath of fresh air. Be thankful for the chances to earn money and spend it on the things that bring you joy. Be in awe of the Creator of all things, and in gratitude for His provision.
Please reread this letter as many times as you need to in the future, to remind you about the time you experienced a pandemic like never before.
Until further notice,