Peace on an Island
I was having a conversation with my mom about the passing of my dad. My mom and I have always been close but now I truly cherish every moment I get to spend with her. Grieving the loss of Josh made me reflect on my trip to Hawaii with my mom. We were supposed to go last year for my 30th birthday but you know, Corona… So we rescheduled for this year and I’m glad we did. It was refreshing to disconnect from normal life and sit and do nothing in paradise. All my worries were casted into the Pacific Ocean. There was a stillness within me that made breathing easy. I had to return to life as I knew it but I still carry what I received on that island.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
It was March 12 when I got an email saying my school would be closed for the next two weeks. Two weeks. Of course I was ecstatic I would be able to work from home for two weeks. I had settled in my mind that after the two weeks, this would be over, things would be back to normal (I actually told my friends all of this seemed a bit excessive). Well, that was a month ago, literally a month ago, and things are still pretty abnormal. Today, many of us would have put on our very best (I already had my outfit ready) and all across the world we would have gathered together in sanctuaries to celebrate a resurrected King. Unfortunately, if you had taken today to travel to city after city and town after town, you would have found empty sanctuaries.
These empty sanctuaries are a reflection of what we’ve experienced this past month. In a month’s time, I was reminded how much I despise conference calls, I canceled birthday plans (y’all I had a whole dinner planned and I was supposed to go see Hamilton!), I canceled flights (see you another time Ramone), and I received so many emails in one day I was almost in tears. This past month, many have lost their lives with their loved ones unable to give them a proper farewell and many more have suffered in hospitals alone and even more than that have been sick and recovered. Traffic has been little to none (yes, even in Atlanta), some have loss their jobs, others have learned new technologies to work from home, others have no choice but to go to work. Maybe last week or the week before (it’s hard to keep up with time nowadays), I had a moment where I truly could not believe we were in this situation; I was legitimately sad about it. But today, as I think about empty sanctuaries, I am reminded of an empty grave! This gives me hope.
Empty sanctuaries may reflect what’s going on in this world but it doesn’t have to be a reflection of what’s going on in our hearts. As believers, we are in this world, not of this world. Our daily lives may be affected, but our daily devotion to a living God doesn’t have to be shaken. We have a peace that surpasses all understanding. The social climate doesn’t change that. Social distancing doesn’t make God distant from us. Jesus came that we may have life and have it more abundantly. My plans for living my best life this past month didn’t happen but God’s plan to reconcile the world back to Him, is still going forth. Sanctuaries may be empty, but let an empty grave fill your empty heart.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
When going outside was a thing (February 2020)