there’s a whole big world out there, right outside my window – and it looks the same today as it has for all of the twenty some years I have watched it from my window. I watch them go by all day long, a constant parade of people, passing by right before my eyes as I sit at my computer. It is the same parade I watched yesterday, this parade of people I see passing by my window today, and I expect I will witness this same parade of people all over again tomorrow. This expectation brings with it a comfort all its own.
The world outside my window is a familiar, unchanging view of life going on around me, being lived out in the daily routines that make up our lives. There are the usual dog walkers at the usual times, I recognize the dogs even if I do not know their owners. Then there are the joggers and the bicycle riders coming and going throughout the day. One particular bike rider is so familiar and predictable that her absence would be conspicuous. There are moms pushing strollers and couples walking hand in hand. There are families with children on tricycles trailing behind their parents or kids on bikes and strollers and dogs all together. And then there is my friend, the faithful all weather walker. Her presence completes the picture of neighbors known and unknown passing before my window.
And of course, I myself, am a part of that daily parade when I take my morning or evening walk or ride my bike. Other people can watch me from their window. We are all a part of this same neighborhood. This is the world outside my window and this world has not changed.
But I know the world has changed, even though I would never know that, based on the world I see outside my window. When I turn on the local news and see my own city, I do not recognize it. Why? Because I have been home as ordered, (essential travel only) and I have not gone out to see for myself how the world has changed. Many are working harder and longer than ever before and I am so grateful for their service to us all. Truckers, cashiers, store stockers, all health care workers, police, fire, first responders, scientists working to find tests and treatments, food distribution workers – we owe so much to so many, – it is hard to be home when so many are working so hard.
I do not recognize the empty shelves, empty streets, empty stores, empty parks, closed businesses and masked people I see on my TV screen. It hardly seems real. The normal and the abnormal existing in such close proximity to each other, such a fine line separating the two worlds.
I want to bridge the gap between the two worlds. I want to hang onto anything that is a reminder of what normal was but at the same time, I need to know how to live in this new reality. I want to remember how we lived in a pre-COVID-19 world. But I have to learn to walk in this world we have now.
I will find a way. We will all find a way. Jesus told His disciples, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
The day will come when I will say along with the Psalmist, “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 30:11-12)
Above all, I will remember these words of Paul in his letter to the believers in Rome who were living in very challenging circumstances, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
nothing can separate me, nothing can separate you, from God’s love for us – not even COVID-19!
sincerely, Grace Day