Corona Chronicles-True Confessions#31

I confess – I haven’t really been feeling all that much like myself lately.  Too many changes in too short a time, perhaps?  Familiar routines stripped away, maybe? But whatever the reason, I am feeling more and more like the proverbial frog in the pot.  I hardly noticed how and can’t say for sure when I entered said pot.  It didn’t seem all that dangerous at the time.  In fact it was supposed to keep me safe.

Safe from what?  Which is the more dangerous place to be?  Inside the pot or outside of it?  These are the questions I ponder in the pot, as I tread water that steadily increases in temperature.  My safe space, (I was told I would be safe here) this soothing frog sauna, is silently, secretly oozing steam to cloud my vision.  When the steam gives way to a bubbling boil, the time for choices will be over.  The time for me to speak up will have passed.

I will no longer have a voice.  Neither will any of the other frogs in this pot with me.  The time for action will be behind us.  Do we think we are on some government sponsored frog resort vacation?  Do we imagine that when it ends we will simply return to the lives and the freedoms we so carelessly, thoughtlessly left behind?  When the stimulus money and the unemployment checks run out, do we expect to simply exit the sauna and enter into our old lives once again?

They will not be there waiting for us.  Many businesses will not be able to reopen. They will cease to exist.  Will libraries, schools, churches, museums etc. be allowed to reopen?  And with such a high percentage of the population now successfully infected with the fear virus, which is much more contagious than the corona virus, many will not venture out but remain at home while others follow suite.

Will Broadway remain dark, Disney World closed, sporting arenas empty?  It will be a ghost civilization, a masked, muffled, fear filled population, living in isolation from each other.  Community events will be no more.  Community will be no more. Well, except for cyber communities, but those can be monitored and controlled easily.  Facebook and YouTube and Google already censor what goes on their platforms.  no dissent allowed. no free speech. That would be too dangerous. People might be exposed to new or different ideas.  This might lead people to think for themselves.  Can’t have that.  Especially not in frog world.

Better just to keep the frogs in the nice warm pot, ease their apprehensions and assure them it will all be over soon.  (truth can be so ironic)  The frogs are fully expecting to return to their pre-pot world when their swim is over.  When invited in for the good of all, they were told fourteen days was the going length of stay necessary to make the outside safe again.

Somehow this turned into thirty days but that seemed reasonable and the pot was warm and the time would pass quickly.  After all, it was necessary for the greater good.  No one likes a selfish, uncaring frog.  Better to comply.  Besides,  I’m not feeling as “jumpy” as I used to, this water is just so relaxing.

The news from outside the pot is “good.”  They are getting things under control, it’s just going to take a little longer than they first told us.  The back to school date of April 6th moved to May 1st, so we settled in for an extended swim, May 1st would be here soon enough.  But then startling news came, schools would not reopen at all this school year.

The libraries no longer had a reopen date either.  They just gave up.  Other events began moving their dates further into the future.  The pot keepers shook their heads and murmured things not about returnings but about retreatings – more restrictions were added gradually over time, after we had accepted the first ones. It was really getting warm in the pot!

We had to keep our distance in the pot, of course, but now we needed masks and gloves (in addition to distance) and we were not to leave our assigned spots in the pot unless someone deemed it “essential.”  This is confusing because “essential” like “beauty” is in the eye of the beholder.  You get a bad beholder and the pot boils over.

Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  In other words to keep quiet and look the other way, to refuse to speak up until it is too late.

If they would have told me it was a permanent pot, I never would have gotten in. And neither would the other frogs have been found willing.  No more freedom of assembly?  No more football?  No more Broadway?  No more school?  No more church?  Impossible!  Did COVID-19 kill the Constitution?

But a fourteen day break/vacation?  sure that’s doable.  Keeping a little distance and not shaking hands?  sure, we can all do that.  washing our hands and cleaning surfaces?  of course, why wouldn’t we?

Never attending a full church service or a musical or a movie or a sporting event or a wedding or a graduation or family get together or travel again?  What world would this be?  Not a free one, that’s for sure.

In a free world places are open, events are taking place but participation is voluntary.  Just because a restaurant is open, no one has to eat there.  And if they don’t it will close.  That’s what freedom is – freedom to choose.

No one spoke up because who would protest a fourteen day quarantine that was going to save so many lives?  And now the pot is boiling, my time to jump has passed, my ability to jump is gone, my voice silenced along with all the other good, obedient frogs who signed up for fourteen days and received a life sentence instead.

The death of Freedom is a fearful thing.  Our silence allowed her passing unnoticed until she was gone and now we can’t even assemble to mourn her loss, to throw her a proper funeral.

Fill a free people with fear, keep them fearful long enough to heard them into the protective pot, soothe them in a sauna of promises that things will return to normal soon enough, tell them how good and noble and self sacrificing they are being and only when they are lulled into acceptance of the “new normal” tell them that there is no return to what they left behind because what they left behind is gone.

They are no longer free.  Government will tell them where they can go, if they can go and what they can and cannot do there.  Others will decide what is “essential” and what is not.  We are told the COVID-19 world is now a very dangerous place and we cannot be trusted to figure out how to walk in it, to work in it, or to live in it.  So we are not allowed to live our lives in it.  Our lives will remain on indefinite hold in the pot.

But this announcement now brings no cries of outrage or of protest.  Strange the silence that follows this proclamation.  All that can be seen or heard is the steam rising above the bubbling water in the pot.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance.”   (Psalm 33:12)

“if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”    (2 Chronicles 7:14)

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”  (2 Corinthians 3:17)

“For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”   (2 Timothy 1:7)

faith not fear  . . .    freedom not fear  . . .

sincerely,      Grace Day







Corona Chronicles-True Confessions#30

I confess, I’m feeling as if I might be suffering from PTSD and the war is not even over. This is cause for concern.  Isn’t this PTSD supposed to happen after the traumatic event is over and is safely in the past?  (that’s probably why the “P” in this acronym stands for “post”, meaning after)  Maybe I am just a little battle weary, longing for the pre COVID-19 life I used to live.  Maybe you are too?

I feel like a war time correspondent, writing to you from my bunker behind enemy lines.  I am in the trenches, (more like a deep pit) and am left to wonder if my words are making their way out into the world.  And if so, what kind of a world has it become out there? – while I have been holed up here in this bunker (well really more like house arrest) waiting and writing and wondering who is winning this war?  COVID-19 or the human race?

Rumors run rampant as they always do during wartime.  I hear the people saying the end time is near.  Could this be true, I am wondering?  Then  I read these words in Luke 17:26-30,

“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.  People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark.  Then the flood came and destroyed them all.  It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.  But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.  It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.”

At these words I breathe a sigh of relief.  This is not the end.  There will be more time with those I love, more time for reconciliations of all kinds, more time for people to come to know God’s love.  But why do I say this?

Luke said, in those days people were going about their business as usual, they were living their lives and that’s how it will be when the end comes.  We are not going about our business as usual right now.  We are not living our lives.  No one is marrying or being given in marriage.  (no group gatherings/no churches or other venues open/no restaurants available for food etc.)   We cannot even assemble to bury our dead and celebrate their lives with others who loved them.

Our lives are on hold right now.  We are awaiting permission to resume them, to take them up again.  We are waiting to travel to see family and friends, to hold weddings and graduations and birthday parties and retirement parties and fourth of July fireworks and picnics and all manner of celebrations; we are waiting to plant and to build up and to open up and to resume buying and selling and coming and going and hugging and holding hands and singing and dancing and working and worshiping and living and dying; yes dying – dying with those we love by our side.

We are sidelined right now, we are on the side lines waiting for the game to began again, so that we can take the field, take our places, resume our roles and remember what it was to live in community with others, face to face on a daily basis.  But those in charge of the game don’t seem to care if it resumes again or not.

After the virus has been defeated, will fear still keep us captive in our bunkers? There are medicines to cure the COVID, but there is no vaccine for fear. When fear sets in, the results are debilitating, paralyzing, and often fatal.  Fear signals the death of peace and joy and freedom as it holds us captive in its fierce grip.

COVID-19 world is a world of fear and of isolation.  Will our post COVID-19 world also be one of fear and of isolation?  Do we have anything to say about the outcome? I love these words from Psalm 34:4-5,

“I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”

That’s what I need, to be delivered from all my fear, from the fear that surrounds me and all of us who live in this culture, ushered in by the corona virus, which many are fond of calling “the new normal.”  I am ready to be released from my bunker and from my fear.  (after all, what good would the former be without the latter?)  Then I can say with the psalmist of Psalm 40:1-3,

“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”

I can continue to call out to my Heavenly Father knowing He hears me and that He will answer.

“Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help.  You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever.” (Psalm 30:10-12)

sincerely,       Grace Day












C.C.-The tale of the two trees #29

Another day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day in the neighborhood, another day in COVID-19 world, another Groundhog Day, another beautiful spring morning for me to walk out into God’s stunningly beautiful display of spring colors from every flowering tree and bush and flower garden and yard, no wonder the birds were singing so loudly this morning – it would be hard to keep quiet when surrounded by so much beauty.

I was stopped in my tracks this morning by a particularly large, vibrant crabapple tree in full bloom, so full of blossoms, such a brilliant shade of deep pink that it should really have another color name to describe its blossoms – but I can’t think of any words to suffice, to do this tree justice.   (I guess here a picture really would be worth a thousand words)

Why had I not noticed this tree before today? I wondered.  Then my eyes wandered to the tree directly across the street and I knew the answer to my question.  There stood an equally large weeping cherry which in weeks past had been full of pale pink blossoms cascading downward, seeming to float really, a flowering, feathery canopy full of blooms, branches bending, falling gently toward the earth.

I had not been able to take my eyes off this weeping cherry tree as I walked past each day, she was just so lovely.  But now her blooms were gone, faded away, her glory now diminished a little more each day till it was no more.

And all the while, the tree across the street, the crabapple, had been coming into her full bloom, slowly, a little more each day until today her full glory burst forth, holding nothing back, every budding blossom revealing itself as if on cue.  I could not take my eyes off of her for some time.  So I stood admiring the deep pink color against the clear blue of the sky, made bluer by the contrast of her blossoms.

I glanced again at the weeping cherry tree across the street and felt a sadness I could not explain.  Perhaps she was truly weeping now.  I wanted to weep with her for what was (her former glory) while at the same time  I wanted to rejoice and revel in what is, in what was now before me – the brilliant vibrance of the now blossoming crabapple tree.

Isn’t this life?  I thought.  There are seasons and even seasons within a season, as I witnessed this morning.  The two trees taught me that.  Nothing stays still.  We are always changing.  The waxing and the waning are not just for the moon.  These spring flowering trees slowly fill with blossoms until overflowing with color and with life, they reach their full force and from that peak start an equally slow descent, flower by flower, blossom by blossom, until all have faded, fallen away – giving way to the greens of summer which will keep us all company until autumn makes her appearance.

As I stood today with the weeping cherry tree on one side of me and the crabapple tree on the other, I felt grief and gladness simultaneously.  I couldn’t exclude either tree from my gaze.  Could there be room for both?  One’s glory fading away, the other’s coming into its own at the proper time.  Gain and loss together in the same moment.  I thought of the words in Romans 12:15,

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”    I am called to do both because life consists of both.  I cannot experience the one without the other.

So there I was, suspended between the two trees, letting them tell me their tale, learning their lesson – when who should appear but my friend, the all weather walker!  Our conversation (appropriately socially distanced, of course) took many turns but in the end led her to tell me this.  She has a grandson named for her father.  Her father died two days before her grandson was born.

It’s the tale of the two trees, it’s the lesson of life, it’s played out over and over again within each day,  within each season, within each year and over the years. We cannot stop God’s cycle of living and dying.  Jesus told His disciples in John 12:24,

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”  From seeds that are “buried” in the ground come all kinds of living plants, trees, flowers and food.

This seems to mirror the miracle of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection to life everlasting.  Has creation been preparing us all along, trying to teach us this mystery of life and death and life again with God forever?  Romans 6:4 talks about this mystery,

“We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

New life, that’s what spring is all about, a season of new life after the long, cold winter has left everything for dead and moved on.  But then the miracle occurs. The grass turns green, the trees start to bud, daffodils and dandelions appear out of no where along with violets, tulips, red bud, forsythia and flowering trees and bushes of every kind.

Yet even within this season of new life, flowers and blossoms reach their peak and then fade away – giving way to what follows in their wake.  It reminds me of what John the Baptist told those following him about Jesus saying,

“He (Jesus) must increase; I must decrease.”   (John 3:30)

Those two trees growing across the road from one another reminded me of those words today.  One was increasing even as the other was decreasing.  Each on their own timetable.  Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 says it best,

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:  a time to be born and a time to die,”

sincerely,       Grace Day






Corona Chronicles-True Confessions#28

the problem with being the clay is – you have to trust the potter  . . .  and good potters are hard to come by

(this is today’s confession – I have a problem with being the clay)

“Yet, O Lord, You are our Father.  We are (I am) the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand.”   (Isaiah 64:8)

ok, so I have a good potter – but can I really trust Him?

” ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ”   (Jeremiah 29:11)

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.”  (Philippians 2:13)

ok, so He is working in me and on me, forming me into what He intended me to be all along.  The Potter is the One with the vision, not the clay.  It is His vision that matters – not mine

because my Potter is the One with the unlimited, unobstructed, eternal perspective.  My perspective is limited, often obstructed and decidedly short sighted as I can’t see very far into the future at all (like not even to the end of this day)

” ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord.  As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”  (Isaiah 55:8-9)

I have to confess though, (yes, another confession) being kneaded and shaped and molded on His potter’s wheel is a painful process and I don’t even get to know the outcome.  Only the Potter knows that.  Only the Potter knows what He has in mind for me.

I have to trust Him.  I have to trust that His purpose for me is good.  I have to trust Him as He uses every tool at His disposal while He works on me.

I have to trust Him to complete His work.

“being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you (me) will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”   (Philippians 1:6)

I guess when your Potter is the Creator of the entire universe you can know that you are in good hands.

So I should just relax and let the Potter work His good and pleasing and perfect will in me.  after all,

my Potter is a miracle worker – He can turn an ordinary lump of clay into something both beautiful and useful – form and function, that’s my Potter!

no matter what happens, He will accomplish His purpose for me and in me and even in spite of me.  I didn’t give Him much to work with, but as I told you, my Potter is a miracle worker.  Creating something out of nothing is His specialty.  Not even COVID-19 can stop what He has purposed to do since before time began.

“But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.”    (Psalm 33:11)

so I will submit to the hands of the Potter as He works on me, trusting Him for a good outcome.

“For we are God’s workmanship, (pottery) created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”   (Ephesians 2:10)

sincerely,        Grace Day










Corona Chronicles-True Confessions#27

Well, it’s Sunday again.  At least that’s what my cell phone and my calendar tell me – it is Sunday.  Sundays just aren’t the same right now.  Church has gone online along with everything else.  The whole world has gone online and on lock down.  It is an online world right now.  I’m not sure which is more real to me at the moment – the world outside my own front door or the world I view on YouTube?

everything seems altered in some way, even my vocabulary has new words which I hear and use daily now.  So I might as well confess that there is a phrase that I never want to hear again.  Can you guess what it might be?  It is the ever present, overused, inescapable words “flatten the curve.”  I don’t think it is possible to go even an hour without hearing those words right now.

Along with that phrase is the currently all important word “essential.”  We now have “essential” and “non-essential” businesses, “essential” and “non-essential” travel, “essential” and “non-essential” surgeries and medical care, “essential” and “non-essential” work, etc.  The whole world seems to divide along these lines.  But I want to know, who is deciding what is “essential” and what is “non-essential”?

In my state physical therapy is non-essential.  I know of some states in which physical therapy is an essential service.  Should I cross state lines if I am in need of this service?  And if I do, would that be considered essential travel because it is for an essential purpose or service?

What is essential anyway?  We have all lost a lot of things lately, things that we thought were essential.  Are we learning what truly is essential and what we can live without?

In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 I get an answer to this question of “what is essential?”   “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Is “essential” simply the difference between what is temporary and what is eternal?  We have all lost a lot of “seen” temporary things during this time.  But what about the “unseen” losses?  They are much harder to measure.  How do we measure what the Declaration of Independence called our unalienable rights, given to us by our Creator, including the rights “to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”?  Are they now lost to us forever?

There is something “essential” and unseen and eternal that cannot be taken from us.  Peter tells us as much in 1 Peter 1:3-6,

“In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.”

Today, even though it feels like Groundhog Day all over again to me, I will say along with the Psalmist,

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us (I will) rejoice and be glad in it.”  (Psalm 118:24)

I will echo the words of Psalm 100:4-5, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.  For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”

This day, this Sunday, today I am eagerly waiting for the Sunday to come when I can say,  “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”  (Psalm 122:1)

While I wait in eager expectation for that day when our houses of worship will once again throw open their doors, I cry out with the Psalmist of Psalm 24:7-10, as he wails in longing for that day to come,

“Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.  Who is this King of glory?  The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.  Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.  Who is He, this King of glory?  The Lord Almighty – He is the King of glory.”

Corona virus cannot keep You out, O Lord of glory, Lord of my heart.  Enter in today, Lord of glory – enter into every human, hurting, hopeful heart.  The doors of our churches may be closed, but may You find the doors of my heart, the doors of every human heart wide open to let You in, O Lord of glory!

sincerely,      Grace Day







Corona Chronicles-True Confessions#26

Today turned out to be a big day for me.  I should probably keep this on the down-low but it is too good to keep to myself.  I went to the store for printer ink and on a whim went down the always empty toilet paper aisle.  It was pretty empty but there on the empty shelf were a few lone packs of toilet paper.  And they were the big packs and they were my regular pre COVID-19 brand!  I could not believe my eyes.  Was I dreaming?

So I confess to you that as I made my purchase and left the store I felt I had just conquered the world.  I felt as though I had struck gold or won the lottery.  I felt victorious and secure!  In what kind of a world does a formerly mundane, routine, everyday purchase become a highlight of one’s week? (maybe of the month, remember every day is Groundhog Day)  Who knew toilet paper had that much power?  I’m assuming all jobs having to do with toilet paper production and distribution are considered “essential.”  Talk about your job security – those are some super secure jobs – actually the securest of jobs.

In other news, my magnolia’s blooms were bitten by the frost and she died a premature death this spring.  But the red bud and some other pink flowering trees are everywhere I look, in full bloom and beautiful.  The white lacy pear blossoms have given way to green buds ready to burst forth.  When something dies something else comes alive.  Everything has its season.  I am witnessing this on my daily walks.

Spring has arrived in full force.  COVID-19 has no power over creation.  The sequence of the seasons still stands.  The words of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 play over and over in my mind as I wonder when these days of sheltering in place will come to an end?

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

Seems like those words cover about everything.  I am hopeful that we will have times of planting and of building and of gathering and of laughing and of dancing and of healing and of embracing and of mending and of peace in the days yet to come.

For now, I feel like the apostle Paul felt when he wrote these words in 2 Corinthians 4:8-10,

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

I have said before that we are in a race and someone keeps moving the finish line, farther and farther each time, until we find ourselves running a race in which there is no finish line.  This may be true, but I want to be able to say with the apostle Paul these words from 2 Timothy 4:7,

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

sincerely,     Grace Day











Corona Chronicles-True Confessions#25

today’s confession is probably something best left unconfessed – but truth should be told and confession is good for the soul. (they say, whoever “they” are)  So, I confess that I am not the rule follower I thought I was.  Indeed, I am a transgressor of the current laws laid upon us at this time.  What is my transgression?  I hugged a friend.  There, I have said it out loud.  Of course it was with mutual consent and we have both been isolated since the beginning of this ordeal, having non essential jobs as it were, which are no more.

Which leads me to wonder – if I have a non essential job does that mean by extension that I am a non essential person?  Being told to stay home and not to come out for any reason kind of reminds me of being sent to my room as a child. Remember that punishment?  Stay in your room and don’t come out for any reason until I tell you it’s ok to come out.

Or maybe my state’s stay at home order is more like being grounded.  There are the “essential” reasons to leave your room, school and meals and the bathroom and everything else is “non essential.”  (that was in the days before computers and cell phones, so you really were cut off from the outside world)

A few powerful people have essentially grounded an entire nation.  And we don’t know when our punishment will end.  We are held hostage by inaccurate models, dire predictions, ever changing data, and the threat of death if we dare to disobey. Fear is a powerful weapon in the hands of those who have a platform to spread it.

As children, didn’t we question our captivity, constantly asking, “how much longer until I’m free again” and even “why am I grounded in the first place?”

Back then, we were told that the self isolation, oops, I mean grounding, was for our own good, that our parents knew what was best for us.  But we are not children anymore and government is not our parent.  Actually, we are the government, remember? (of the people, by the people, for the people)

Can’t we wash our hands, refuse to shake them, protect our vulnerable and go back to work?  This “cure” has far surpassed the illness in death, destruction and devastation to human life.  While I, along with millions of others, have been relegated to my room, my house has fallen down around me.

When finally I am free to leave my room, I will find the world a vastly changed place.  The restaurants I remembered and couldn’t wait to return to, no longer there.  Shops closed, food lines long, more homeless than before. no jobs to be found.  I think back, when I was exiled to my room there were plenty of jobs and not enough people to fill them.  Unemployment for everyone was at an all time low.

What happened?  Why is it so silent?  No concerts, no sports, no family reunions, no picnics, no parades, no church, no smiles (well, how would I know, everyone’s wearing a mask)  Just a silent sadness.  Empty streets, empty parks, empty playgrounds,  what happened to our world?  Why didn’t somebody say something?

They couldn’t.  If they did, well in China they just disappeared if they dissented. Here they were just accused of being killers, of wanting people to die, of preferring money over people.  Nobody wants that label.

Of course it’s work that puts a roof over a family’s head and feeds that family and provides them healthcare and sustains all the charities and provides the government income – while at the same time providing all the goods and services that were available to us until we were told that not working would save lives.

Then everything shut down.  We got sent to our rooms.  If we don’t come out soon there will be nothing left to rebuild.  We are already mourning for all the losses during this time we will never get back.  Funerals we cannot attend, graduations without a ceremony and a celebration, birthdays not celebrated with family, weddings postponed, lives on hold, as we wait in our rooms for  . . . for what?  for Death?  Death to come for us?  or Death to be eliminated, thereby making it “safe” for us to now leave our rooms?

The world will always be full of death but it has always been full of life as well. Stopping the living from living has no power to stop the dying from dying.  I know of too many that are dying alone, while their loved ones are still “grounded to their rooms” awaiting the end of this COVID-19 nightmare.

Their families will be left to mourn alone because no funerals can be held. Sadness that is unavoidable compounded by sadness that sadly is.

I mourn for so many people right now.  I mourn for the loss of physical life.  I mourn for the losses of the living, prohibited from living their lives and earning a livelihood.  Isn’t that interesting that a term we use for working is “livelihood.” Work is not a curse, it is a blessing.  It is a means of being productive and of contributing to society while providing for yourself and your family at the same time.

In depriving the now twenty six million and counting people of the right to work, we are truly depriving them of their livelihoods, while telling them it is being done to prevent death.  Can there be any greater irony or injustice?  It is no accident that this word contains the word “live” within it, or “lively” for that matter, meaning full of life.

My heart breaks for all the losses people are suffering because of this pandemic. Some losses are inevitable and some are self inflicted.  We need to figure out the difference.

As I grieve things I can’t even put a name to in these present days, I hold these words close from Psalm 30:10-12,

“Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help.  You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever.”

sincerely,     Grace Day





Corona Chronicles-True Confessions#24

well another day and I find myself living in many different worlds simultaneously. There is “the world outside my window” (post April 13), there is the world I see when I turn on my TV news, there is the world I entered into when I went to buy some groceries, (post -Corona Chronicles #21) there is the Amazon world I now need because I needed a book for bible study and bookstores are not an “essential business” at the present time, there is the “zoom” world, a whole world of “zooming” in which I now participate.

And I have to confess to you this – I find myself longing for my “old world” of work and church and the gym and meeting a friend at Starbucks – the world of daily routines that were familiar and comfortable and predictable and understandable. I knew how to walk in that world, the world in which we all lived literally little more than a month ago. Seems like another lifetime ago, doesn’t it?

This new world is an upside down world.  In our old world, if you entered a store (especially a bank) wearing a mask you were immediately suspect, now if you enter a store not wearing a mask, you are suspect.

Before COVID-19, a hug was a gesture of kindness and comfort.  Now a hug would be considered an act of aggression and a violation of social distancing policies.

In our current world, liquor stores are apparently considered “essential” and remain open while in some places garden centers are closed and people can’t buy seeds to start a vegetable garden or plants etc.

Pre COVID-19, toilet paper was not a hard to find item.  Now toilet paper is the new gold standard.  It is the new collectible.  People stand in line to buy it and it has to be rationed.  Who would have predicted that?  (I wonder if toilet paper was rationed during WWII along with gasoline, coal, meat, cheese, butter, lard, nylon and many other items?)

In this new world, if you want to clear a room, simply clear your throat.  A little cough is all it will take to get the job done.

Pre COVID-19 it would be considered a snub, rude and stand offish, not to extend your hand in greeting when meeting someone – now it would be considered rude and inappropriate to extend your hand, it could be taken as a threat at worst or as just inconsiderate and uncaring at best.

Masks may be the new fashion accessory, while lipstick will now become a thing of the past, sales will plummet as lipstick is no longer needed.

I am trying to picture a football stadium full of masked spectators.  Will their cheers be muffled by their masks or will they watch in silence like zombies?  Will the cheerleaders be wearing masks as they lead the crowd and perform their stunts and routines?

I am wondering what worship in our churches will sound like – will we sing through our masks?  What will it sound like – this muffled, masked music of the masses?  Will our praise bands and church choirs be wearing masks?

What about live theater?  A masked audience is one thing, but masked actors, singers and dancers?  From Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London, to Broadway to community theaters everywhere, we are left to wonder whether COVID-19 will be the death of all live performances and their venues around the world?

In a culture where people often feel invisible and overlooked, wearing masks promotes and enhances each person’s feelings of anonymity and invisibility.  We will truly be a faceless, nameless mass of socially distanced, self isolated individuals.  (much easier to control that way)

I am wondering about the WHO?  Not the British rock band but the group whose middle name is Health, that one.  Their middle name may be Health, but their actions put our world’s health in danger.  They need to change either their name or their actions so that they match up with one another.

And who? is raising money for WHO?  when twenty two million plus Americans have lost their jobs, shouldn’t we be trying to help them instead of an organization which is primarily administrative and a data collector in nature?

But nothing makes any sense right now.  Farmers are being forced to plow under fields full of food while food pantry lines are longer than ever.

We are told that hospitals are full and our health care system is overwhelmed. But medical clinics and medical offices are closed (accompanied by all the layoffs of office staff, cleaning staff and medical staff that worked in these places) and hospitals are empty and losing money, forcing them to lay off nurses and other staff, because all medical care is on hold unless it is “essential” or COVID-19 related.  People have conditions that are going untreated right now because they are not COVID-19 illnesses.

We are letting convicted criminals out of our prisons and into our “shelter in place” society while simultaneously arresting and locking up citizens for violating social distancing orders, such as the lone boater or a solitary beach jogger.  Our prisons are opening up and letting people out while at the same time our parks are closing, refusing to let people in.

We are told to stay home or we/or others will die.  But death is all around us. Always has been.  (that’s probably why they say, “death is just a part of life”)  But now, in addition to all the deaths due to illnesses, (with which we have always had to deal) cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, influenza, the list would be long – and all the deaths we suffer from accidents, traffic and otherwise, and all the deaths from violent crime and shootings, and all the deaths resulting from poverty and hunger, – we now have a whole new dimension of death that we must deal with each day as well, caused by this COVID-19 driven shut down.

It is the death of our freedoms, our dreams, our businesses, our opportunities to work,  to earn a living and to support our families, our freedom to worship in community, our freedom to travel and to visit family, our access to parks and other public places, our freedom to assemble in any form, all deceased at the moment – with the question being – can we resurrect these long held freedoms when the time comes?

Or will we be told, freedom has no place in a “post COVID-19” world?  Time will tell. She always does.  We have not yet realized the vast cost of this “cure” for COVID-19. Which is not a cure at all, merely containment of the contagious.

So today I find I need an anchor in this world, this world that has turned upside down despite my best efforts to prevent it from doing so.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.  He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:19-20)

It is hope that is my anchor during this storm brought to us by COVID-19, hope in God alone.

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”   (Psalm 62:5-6)

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”  (Psalm 27:14)

“We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.  In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name.  May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You.”  (Psalm 33:20-22)

so I will be grateful that I have an anchor in this storm, an anchor of hope to hold onto –

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”   (Psalm 31:24)

sincerely,       Grace Day














Corona Chronicles #23 Groundhog Day

Even though I’m not on Facebook or other social media, something has come to my attention and it is this.  People are referring a lot to the movie Groundhog Day right now, during this time when each day we live can seem remarkably similar to the day we just lived the day before.  Interesting  . . .

Now Groundhog’s Day just happens to be one of my favorite holidays and the movie one of my favorite movies.  Why?  Well, my birthday is the day before and my son usually calls me on the day after, (when he realizes he has missed it) and that would be Groundhog’s Day!

Also, as holidays go, Groundhog’s Day is very low key.  No gifts to exchange, no cards to send, no fancy foods to prepare, no time off from work or from school (at the moment that would be a moot point with schools closed and twenty-two million of us out of work) it is just a calendar holiday, with a crazy superstition to justify its existence.  But the ritual of the groundhog and his shadow is still observed to this day.  You have to love that – something consistent in this world of inconsistencies.

How consistent?  Well, the first Groundhog Day was celebrated on February 2, 1887 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and it is still on our calendars to this day. But it is the movie that I love even more than this lesser, mostly overlooked holiday. What is the message of the Groundhog Day movie?  Why do I and maybe you, too feel like we are now in this movie as permanent characters?

Maybe it is the repetitiveness of our days.  Days which may now be devoid of markers – markers like work and deadlines and meetings, markers such as social events (we used to call them obligations) markers such as celebrations, (birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc.)  sporting events, plays, concerts, get togethers with friends and family, Sunday worship, TGIF rituals and more – all absent at the moment from our daily lives,  thereby potentially giving our days a sameness that can frustrate us, leave us bored and listless or lull us into complacent resignation.

The main character in the movie, Groundhog Day, went through several different reactions to his situation before he found something that worked for him.  His situation was this, he was a weatherman stuck in a small town, reliving the same day (February 2nd) over and over again.  No matter what he did during the day, when he woke up the next morning, it was the day he had just lived, yesterday, all over again.  Nothing had changed.

And therein was the frustration.  No matter what he did that day, it didn’t make a difference.  He woke up to the same day all over again and nothing had changed. Realizing this, he did things like binge eating, drinking, robbery, and even drove a truck over a cliff, sure that would put an end to the repetitive cycle.  But he woke up as usual at the same time, in the same bed, with the same day ready to be lived all over again.

Then he started to do things differently.  He engaged the people that were in his path everyday in a new and different way.  (same people everyday because it was always the same day)  He brought his camera man doughnuts, asked about his family and asked his opinion about the day’s news segment they were doing. (the camera man was appropriately shocked)

Our main character ends up using the endless stretch of repeated days to do many things.  He becomes an accomplished piano player, learns French, masters the art of ice sculpture, helps a homeless man, changes a tire for a car full of old ladies, catches a boy falling from a tree (everyday), saves a man in a restaurant who is choking, buys insurance from a bothersome salesman who is an old acquaintance, well, you get the idea  . . .

He was stuck living the same day over and over.  He didn’t choose that.  But he found he had many choices to make each time he lived that day over.  And he changed his choices over time.  The ultimate “do-over”.  That’s what he was given. There are a lot of days I would like to “do-over” so that I could do things differently, make things better, make things right.  What a gift Phil, the main character in Groundhog Day, was given.  And in the end, he made the most of his infinite second chances.  He only had the one day to live (over and over) but he made the most of that day, everyday, every time.

Of course, Phil had an ulterior motive to begin with.  He wanted to impress and win over his other co-worker, Rita.  It took a lot of repeated days to correct the many mistakes he made trying to win her over.  But each time he blew it with her, he got to do it all over again the next day using what he had learned about her that day.  (which remember was actually the same day just lived over and over again)

Even though Phil just had the one day to live over and over, he discovered that what he did mattered to those he helped (like the boy falling from the tree, who he caught every time).  Knowing that what we do does matter, makes all the difference.  Once Phil, our movie hero, discovered that truth, his life went from being repetitive and meaningless to being meaningful and purposeful.  He became well known and loved in the small town where he spent his “day.”

You, like me, may feel stuck in the sameness of the days right now.  We can’t really make plans, any plans.  This is hard because we are planners.  We like planning our futures because it gives us the illusion that we are in control.  But now we find ourselves in a time when we can’t plan or count on anything.  We can’t plan to visit friends or family, because we don’t know when travel will again be allowed.  I don’t know when the schools will reopen, or the churches, or the libraries, or the parks or the museums or restaurants or other places of business.  What I have, what you have, is today.

My Heavenly Father has given me what I need for today, my daily bread, this morning’s manna.  That is sufficient, it is enough for today.  Psalm 145:15-16 tells me,

“The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food at the proper time.  You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”

A wise woman I know is fond of saying,  “how we live matters!”  Phil in Groundhog Day figured that out and used it to change his life and the lives of those around him for the better.  I need to remember that as I live in these days dictated by COVID-19.  How I live today matters.  This virus does not have the final say.  I get to choose how I will live today – in fear or in faith, in victory or in defeat, in despair or in hope, in hurting or in helping others, in withdrawing or in reaching out, in indifference or in empathy, in anger or in acceptance, – the choices to be made everyday are endless and they are mine to make.

“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (quite the understatement) Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”   (Ephesians 5:15-17)

I want to make the most of every day,  sometimes translated as “redeeming the time,” even while I am living in this “Groundhog Day” world . . .

sincerely,        Grace Day






Corona Chronicles-True Confessions#22

What confession shall I share today, dear readers?  One that is true, the truth is always best.  So, I confess, I am drowning.  I took my eye off the ball and I am drowning.  I am mixing my sports metaphors here, I know.  The best sports advice is always “keep your eye on the ball.”  That’s what they tell the batter in baseball, the wide receiver in football, the tennis player, the golfer, the pickleball player, -if you are playing a sport that includes a ball of any kind – keep your eye on it!

So where does the drowning enter in?  Well, when the batter doesn’t keep his eye on the ball, he strikes out.  Likewise for the other sports, when you shift your gaze from the ball, bad things happen.

It’s like what happened to Peter in Matthew 14.  He was walking on the water toward Jesus.  He took his eyes off of Jesus for just a moment and in that moment Peter began to sink into the stormy sea.  It only took a split second.  One minute he was walking on the water, the next he was sinking into it and crying out, “Lord, save me!”

Here’s how this story went down.  ” ‘Lord, if it’s You,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’  ‘Come,’ He (Jesus) said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he (Peter) saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’  Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him.  ‘You of little faith,’ He said, ‘why did you doubt?’ ”   (Matthew 14:28-31)

Today Jesus is asking me that same question – “Why do you doubt Me?”   As I follow after Him through this COVID-19 storm – He’s asking me – “Do you trust Me?”  Now  I don’t know that this storm in which we all find ourselves today is all that different from the storm in which those disciples found themselves that night in the boat.

“When evening came,  . . .   the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.”  (Matthew 14:24)

Circumstances beyond their control – sound familiar?  Who would rescue them from this storm?  Help was on the way.

“During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were terrified.  ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.”    (that’s me and that’s you, crying out in fear) But Someone hears our cries and answers us out of the noise of this storm  . . .

“But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage!  It is I.  Don’t be afraid.’  . . . And when they (Peter and Jesus) climbed into the boat, the wind died down.  Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God.’ ” (Matthew 14:25-27,32-33)

They had been in storms before with Jesus.  Apparently they had forgotten this little incident no so long ago.

“Then He (Jesus) got into the boat and His disciples followed Him.  Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.  But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us!  We’re going to drown!’  He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.  The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this?  Even the winds and the waves obey Him!’ ”   (Matthew 8:23-27)

Today, in this world wide COVID-19 storm, Jesus says the same thing to me and to you that He said to His disciples in that boat – “don’t be afraid!”  He was with them in their boat, He is with each one of us in this storm.  Jesus was able to calm the wind and the waves because He created the wind and the waves and because He is Lord over them, as He is Lord over all of creation.

Jesus also asks the same question of me and of you that He asked of His disciples caught in the storm on the lake – “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”

It is in trying to answer this question that I realize like Peter, I am only afraid when I take my eyes off of Jesus.  When I focus on my circumstances, like Peter did, when he looked at the wind swirling around him as he walked toward Jesus on the water and lost sight of Jesus in that moment – if I take my eyes off of Jesus, I too will panic and cry out in fear.

Peter’s story reminds me that I need to keep my eye on the ball, metaphorically speaking or on Jesus, literally speaking.  That makes the difference between sinking or swimming. (or walking on water, actually)  When I take my eyes off the ball, lose my focus, start to flounder and to sink like Peter did, it is Jesus’ strong hand that reaches out and rescues me.

He brings me safely back into the boat once again.  In these uncertain times, it is this sure knowledge that is my hope and my comfort.  Now that everything I have counted on has been stripped away from me, what better time to learn all over again how to trust my Heavenly Father.

I love His promises to me in Isaiah 26:3-4 and in Isaiah 28:16 –

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.”

“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.”

and so as the winds of this world wide storm swirl around me again today, I pray with the father in Mark 9:24 when he cried out to Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

sincerely,      Grace Day