And kind of freaking out. And yet, not. I'm not sure where to go with all the stuff running around in my head right now. I have turned off the incessant noise of the news. I have read some terrific articles about self-distancing and being aware and yes, for the thousandth time, washing my hands for 20 seconds. I stopped looking at Facebook for now as well. Except I followed the service on Sunday on my laptop, which felt right. But it also felt like I bailed on the people who went...like I didn't think I believed that all the precautions and protocols were enough. So I took myself off to a quiet place. The deck, in the sun. It was a little chilly, not quite as warm as I like it to be. And yet that felt right as well. And I closed my eyes and thought about God. And about Him bringing the flood to wipe everyone out. Great! Just what I needed to think about. I opened my eyes, took a deep breath and tried again. There was this really annoying bird in the tree near the deck though. Making all kinds of racket. Made it hard to think or concentrate on ya know, being one with the Almighty. I opened my eyes again and looked for that noisy neighbor. And of course, couldn't find him or her. I considered throwing my shoe at the tree. C'mon! I thought. I'm trying to have a moment with God and trying not to get worried and stuff. Shut up!
And then that's when I got it, sort of. God is there in the noisy racket of everyday living. In the scary moments of illness and dis-ease. In the worrying about the family being safe. In the worrying about the country and what will happen next. God is RIGHT THERE. Not somewhere in some lofty heavenly place, looking down benevolently as we grind our teeth to stumps. He is right here. Now. In our midst. In the neighbor who calls to make sure you're okay. In the friend who Skypes or Facetimes you to make sure you're hangin' in there. In the Pastors who continue to serve and uphold us scaredy cats when we call with wobbly voices and not enough tissues (cause we're afraid to go to the store). God is with us. He promised. Yeah, in that story about the ark, he promised not to do this again and the rainbow may not be obvious on those sun-shiny days on the back deck, but its there nonetheless. He is there with us--you and me--even though we don't deserve it with our doubts and worries and headaches. So even if you don't have a sunny deck to sit out on, try sitting down and remembering his promise. It was to you and me. Whether we believe it right now or not. Thank God. Peace be with you--Jesus said that. I hope you can find that. Me too.