Just a few minutes ago, as I was typing furiously on my laptop, my older son Worth came over to me and wanted to play with my phone. Taking a small break, we got on my phone’s camera and snapped a few quick and funny pictures. This one emerged as the cream of the crop (Which is to say, it was a quick break from working at home, and we didn’t exactly pay attention things like lighting). With the sun washing out the top of our faces, it draws extra attention to our trepidatious smiles.
In my mind, these enormous smiles are the expressions that a lot of us see on each other’s faces right now. We sweat a little bit. We are a bit concerned. But after it all, we are just smiling to see another person.
A pandemic virus can really remind us how fragile life is. Each time I’ve left the house and come back, I’ve had to remind myself, “I might be carrying something lethal to my parents or my grandmother.” Even though youngsters like my kids and myself are pretty safe, it is more deadly the older one gets. And yet, this time apart has the opportunity to teach us new things.
Last night was mostly a sleepless night for me. Tossing and turning, I wondered if it was the end of my job, if the churches I serve would financially be able to keep me as their pastor, if I would be able to put food on the table. And of course, the list of anxiety-causing things swelled. And then, I began practicing the 3-3-3 rule for anxiety. Name three things you see, three things you hear, and three parts of your body. As I began to ground myself in the present moment, I smiled. Unlike many in other parts of the world, I am still in a safe place.
Yes, this virus has the potential to cause a lot of problems. And yes, it’s true that it will not be over soon. However, if we are able to stay grounded in what is around us, we may yet find that God is with us. This is the best of all.