She sat legs crossed in the middle of the sidewalk. Her two daughters’ chalk drawings encircled her. She was a young woman, possibly late 20s, cell phone in hand but her eyes, they remained lovingly focused on her girls.
As we walked passed, I complimented the children’s artwork. The oldest girl looked up and thanked me. I smiled at mom and that was all that was needed to start the conversation.
She shared she was laid-off last week due to the virus. She was a nurse at a local clinic but still, she was let go. At first, she was scared at the thought of not having a job, the uncertainty of no paycheck, the desperation that comes when your world is suddenly, uncontrollably turned upside down. But it’s been a few days, she’s had time to reflect, and today she counts it a blessing.
The virus has given her a chance to love on her girls, quality time to home school, draw sidewalk figures, and demonstrate for her girls how to stand strong in the face of an unknown future.
I will never look back at this time and wish I had worked more. I will always look back at this time and know it was the best for my children.
In late December, when the first words of Covid-19 were echoed, we thought it was a faraway illness. By mid-January, it had taken grip of the world and we, like this young mother, were faced with uncertain and fearful times.
But we’ve had time to adjust to our new reality. We’ve learned to navigate social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, financial downturns and upswings, even the closure of our favorite restaurants, bookstores, and movie theaters.
For some, you’ve had to navigate sudden illness and even the death of loved ones. It is so hard and please know that I’m not trying to minimize the pain of your current reality.
Perhaps, just as this young mom, it’s time for us to stop looking at this invisible enemy’s power for destruction and start refocusing on God’s continued blessings.
Maybe we can move from what we’ve lost, our pain and suffering and start looking for the unfolding of God’s miraculous purpose.
God’s power and strength are available to heal, restore, and provide the clarity we all need.
(1) … Don’t be afraid, for I have ransomed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. (2) When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up—the flames will not consume you. (3) For I am the Lord your God, your Savior, the Holy One of Israel…
Isaiah 43:1-3a Living Bible (TLB)
As we walked away from mom and her budding artists, she said,
There really is a blessing in the midst of all that is going on! I get time to spend with my girls, we can slow down, we have a chance to focus on what really matters.
I encourage you Sisters, don’t allow this virus, the world’s fear, or the devil’s lies distract you from the truth of God’s love.
You are not alone,
You are fearlessly loved,
You are God’s BeLOVED.
Please consider seeing this forced slow down as an opportunity. A chance to take walks hand-in-hand with those you love. A time to share your heart, encourage the weak, love on the lost.
Maybe we can view it as precious time, given to us by God as a respite to refresh our souls, grow our faith, and renew our strength.
Let’s take our eyes, our minds, and our hearts off the invisible enemy and get them keenly focused on the hope of our future, the provision of our lives – Jesus.