Quarantine journals: April 18

I stopped putting a tally in this space.

All numbers do is smear and blur the pain and fear.

All numbers do is feed the enemy’s lie that it has the power.

Today I took my dog on a long walk

in the woods. Deliberately,

of course. And just to see

if there’s any marrow left in the world.

For a time

when we were out there alone and all we could hear were birds of all kinds and the swish of still bare tree limbs in the wind

I almost felt

normal

again.

Just me and him

like the good

old days—when was that?

Oh. Yes. A handful of weeks ago.

I almost couldn’t remember

the before.

Or is it just that it hurts too much

to think of all we’ve lost so

fast? “Front only the

essentials,”

Thoreau said,

“living is so dear…”

Indeed.

Quarantine journals: April 9

432,596 confirmed cases

14,831 deaths

24,245 recovered

*****

I took a walk

around the yard this morning.

Birds sounded louder.

Flowers looked brighter.

The grass glowed emerald

despite the hail that beat it down

hard last night.

How impossible it has been to look up and around and

outside the hyper focused panic of this pandemic,

where mercy reigns

and grace reins in

my wobbly heart.

Last night I sang and sang and sang until

I finally started to believe the words that

We are surrounded

by more than the monster before us. Rather,

we are held

fast by Him.

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (ESV)

Quarantine diaries: April 6 we

364,723 confirmed cases.

10,781 deaths.

19,346 recovered.

*****

I couldn’t help it.

Before I opened my eyes this morning, my first thought was,

What great horror awaits us today?

The general public is panicked enough without knowing what those of us in the trenches see every day, every hour, every minute.

Again I felt faithless and inadequate as my first thoughts turned toward dread and panic instead of scripture and prayer and peace.

Some say God is trying to tell us something.

I disagree.

The God I know loves His sheep and saves even the one who is lost, even the one who is susceptible and at risk and frail and fragile to viruses and predators and harm.

The God I know parts waters and rolls stones and makes the blind see and the deaf hear and the lame leap. 

The God I know would not send this, no matter the lessons we need to learn as mere mortals flailing for purpose and meaning and LIFE.

I try to be a faith first sort of person.

I try to be an overcomer, a knees-to-the-ground, arms-up, Waymaker kind of Christian.

But I am a Christian who is a NURSE.

And my son, my beloved first born, is a nurse, too.

 

Maybe I know too much. Indeed, I have seen too much. But one thing I can assure you of, is that

this virus is TOO MUCH.

Those of you who can live stream and hashtag and blog about the glory and praise in the midst of the hurt, please carry on.

Just know that those of us in the trenches are trying to cope with Facetime-only eternal good-byes and veritable death sentences to diabetic and cardiac compromised and immunocompromised and cancer fighters and an unimaginable number of patients the virus does not discern but rather snatches too soon from this life.

I have faith.

Oh, I do have faith.

But I also know that in this world we will have trouble, and this, my friend, is a trouble of all troubles.

So forgive me if I don’t offer Psalms and comforting platitudes and Facebook Live assurances that all we be well soon enough.

I believe Jeremiah 29:11 with the best of them.

But I also know that this hurts, and will keep hurting, and will hurt tomorrow worse than it hurts today, because that is the nature of this COVID monster. It snatches and steals and devastates and defeats.

Jesus is victorious, always and indeed.

But crosses have to be carried.

And this is ours to bear today. 

Let us praise Him in the midst, indeed, and especially in this Holy week. The Passion was fraught with pain and tears and questions and fear.

There’s no telling how long this particular passion of ours will last, but His faithfulness assures deliverance. I know this in my head, and I keep it close to my heart even as I wake to new horrors every day. Because…

joy comes in the morning, too,

eventually.

Joy comes.

*****