by Caryl Moll
Despite the new norm of social distancing and isolation, some incredible stories have emerged from this world-wide pandemic. I’m not discounting the terrible news that gets the headlines, but I’m talking about those un-highlighted, beautiful accounts that can easily go unnoticed. We need to look out for them.
There have been romances that have blossomed and some singles have finally met their soul-mates. One can feel their happiness as they describe their hopes and dreams for their future. Weddings are being planned or talked about. (Even in our own fellowship group! J Congratulations Evelyn and Jeff on your engagement!)
There have also been some amazing accounts of kindness, unbelievable generosity, encouragement and inspiration as folk have stood in the gap for others who are suffering. The accounts of compassion that I hear from my own family’s ‘Health care worker’ in the frontlines are simply heroic. Prayer chains have strengthened, songs have been written and followers of Christ have discovered new talents and callings. We’ve drawn closer to God in our isolation. There have been live streams, podcasts and an explosion of Christian literature and study. I personally have discovered new meaning in my writing.
And we’ve had the unique opportunity of noticing the smaller things in life. I’ve relished my garden and the myriad of birds that grace the branches of our trees. Hubby and I have done numerous bird courses – it’s been simply eye-opening. Why have we not done this before? And then there are the beautiful sunrises and sunsets that only Africans understand. I’ve had the opportunity to watch many from my rooftop – standing, breathless, in awe of God’s unbelievable creation. I can only conclude that there is immense goodness around us and I can see the hand of our amazing Lord working in it all.
Long-term relationships too have found new meaning. For me, personally, I have had the joy of watching my husband work from home. It’s given me new insight to his daily hurdles and triumphs. I now understand how God is using him and the purpose he has on this earth. It’s made our bond stronger as I have realised that he needs my constant prayer. This is an immense privilege and blessing.
I have also made some brand new friends during lockdown. The digital world and technology has opened up a whole new era of communication and interaction. ‘Whatsapp’ virtual tea dates are fun. Meals can be shared while chatting over video-calls and conversations can be deeper than what we’ve been accustomed to. We can feel safe in our own spaces, knowing that the world is just ‘working it out’ as we grow in God.
There is one particular friend that I so appreciate – my new friend, Julie. We refer to one another as ‘The friend I have never met’. Luckily she is not a ‘total stranger’, because we have some mutual friends, but we’ve never actually met in person. Our friendship has grown over the months. As we have chatted, ‘virtually’, we’ve discovered that we have very similar lives and values. We are both deeply Christian, we both have adult children in professions; we have both been married for a long time; we both have a love for animals; we are empathetic to those who are hurting; we both are extremely creative, etc. Amazingly, we’ve both had the opportunity of ‘being there’ for one another telephonically when the wheels have fallen off. She’s become my prayer partner too. I am amazed that all this has happened during lockdown as, like others, we’ve reached out to the unknown.
My ‘friend that I’ve never met’ has recently introduced me to the wonderful pastime of ‘BIBLE JOURNALLING‘. (If you are a creative person, please give it a try. It’s wonderful! ) It’s a great opportunity to strengthen our relationship with God as we inject creativity into our quiet times, meditating on His word and finding new hope and meaning in the joy of what it means to be a Christian. My heart is exploding in God-given creativity and I may have never experienced this in the ‘normal world’. I know deeply that God is always with me – none of us are ever alone. We just have to open our hearts to new beginnings and possibilities.
So, today, dear reader, I encourage you to look beyond the confines of your own home and emotional shackles; to reach out to others (safely) and to find new, growing meaning in your circumstances. LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE IN THE DARKNESS!
May God bless you as you discover your purpose with Him.
With love, in Christ