Almost every morning of quarantine I awake singing, “… Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness. My God, that is who you are.” As we take baby steps to move out into the world again, it surprises me how quickly I have become accustomed to this new way of living.
Washing my hands has become second nature. Being aware of how close I am standing to others on the sidewalk or in the store has me shifting and moving constantly. I wipe the door handles and everything else a customer touches with alcohol. I don’t hug those I usually would or shake hands with a new friend. Not long ago I spent my quiet time learning to balance chemical equations in order to teach my student body of one. It is a huge shift in living and thinking. With the dawning of each day, I follow the new way as best I can mostly smiling, finding things to be thankful for, and creative ways to connect with others.
My friend’s text makes me smile. “I’m fine, we’re fine… everything is fine.” Like my friend, most days I think I’m fine with this way. At least I tell myself everything’s fine, and I tend to believe myself for the most part.
Until the other day when one of my favorite littles came into the shop. Before I knew it or could step away, he wrapped his little arms tight around my legs. I’m pretty sure time stood still as I considered my options, and tried to decide what was best for him. Tears puddled as I leaned down and we had a proper hug. It took all the strength I could muster not to fall down on my knees and sob right there in the middle of it all.
It is not because I haven’t seen him or talked to him in the last six weeks. We talk to each other through the miracle of internet and zoom. I tell him Bible stories. We play games like hangman, and he quizzes me on the Ten Commandments. Before quarantine we usually spent time together in our pew on Sunday mornings. Now our connection comes through a screen. And I’m thankful. Really I am. But his hug reminded me not so gently that this is not the way.
Turns out I’m not quite as ok as I thought I was. Because that little guy’s hug brought to the surface the longing I have for community. It reminded me no amount of zooming or social media can take the place of face to face conversations or squeeze you tight hugs.
Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life.” Early believers weren’t called Christians they were followers of The Way. They understood it took a community of people gathering together to love and build each other up. We were created by a community (Father, Son, Spirit) for a community (the church).
Don’t misunderstand. I’m not suggesting we throw caution to the wind and ignore safe practice. For now, in this time, this is the path set before us. There are days I don’t mind it as much as others. Days I wash my hands and stand six feet away without much thought as if this is the way.
But it’s not. Make no mistake about it. THIS is NOT the way.
My little friend’s hug is God’s reminder even in the midst of quarantine and safe practice, the Way Maker is still at work. Even when I don’t see it the Miracle Worker is bringing Light in the Darkness, and I can trust the Promise Keeper no matter my circumstances because God never stops working.
That’s who God is.
Want to hear the complete song? Click on the link: Way Maker by Leeland.
**Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash