This past weekend I wrote about God giving us opportunities during this time of crisis in our country, and I believe right now He has done that for my husband and me, sending us to be here for my in-laws. But by the time the weekend ended, and on the evening of the Lord’s Day, I was strugglin’. After all my Bible studying, online sing alongs, and sermons on Sunday morning, by the evening I was not good. It’s because of what I’ve been witnessing for the past few days in this small town we find ourselves in. A small town located in a county with only one reported case of COVID-19. A small town that for just a moment seemed to be taking things seriously, but now I’m not so sure. Maybe it’s because there is only one reported case, or ignorance, or this time we are in is so hard for us as human beings to get used to. I realize people are used to hugging on each other, shaking hands, and gathering together for good conversation. However, we are in strange times and the way to show love for friends and family has changed for the moment. As unusual as it sounds, the way to show love right now is by being apart.
In just about every big city and small town in Texas, the main grocery store is an HEB. Well, there is an HEB here. It’s not one of their superstores, but an average sized grocery. A couple of weeks ago they put into place precautions against the virus. The stand 6 feet away markers lined the sidewalk leading to the one and only entrance/exit. An employee was wiping down carts right outside the door and only allowing a few people into the store at a time. There was hand sanitizer located outside the door and just inside as you walk in or walk out. Employees inside were constantly cleaning, I have never seen this store so clean. Fast forward to this past Friday. I decided to wear a mask because my father-in-law had just come home from cancer surgery and we need to be so very cautious. I walk up to the door and notice everyone is just flowing into the entrance/exit. I walk into the store and it was like any normal day before this ugly virus changed everything. People everywhere, on top of each other. Both hand sanitizer pumps, empty. I was so happy to have that mask on. I decided to get in and out as quickly as I could, but that wasn’t happening. It was that crowded. There were very few others with masks on, and those who didn’t have them on, looked at us as if we had lost our heads. I overheard one woman laughing about the masks and then commented that she didn’t care if she got Coronavirus. The elderly woman who was with her said the same. I think this was the moment my strugglin’ crept on in.
Sunday morning and my father in-law said he wanted to go to the church service that was being held in the parking lot of their Baptist church. As a lot of churches are doing around the country, the members sit in their cars as the preacher preaches while standing between the lines. I was looking forward to it, but I told my husband this might be trouble because I guarantee people will be coming up to our car to speak with your dad. Sure enough, before the sermon began, here they come and I’m strugglin’. There I was sitting in the back behind the driver’s seat and behind my husband, wanting to scream in his ear to roll the windows up, knowing he’s probably not going to listen because he’s not used to making his father behave. My father-in-law rolls down his window even more to talk. One visitor gives him dap, telling my father-in-law they shouldn’t shake hands, but giving dap is okay. I moan and try once again to understand why people, and especially my father -in-law, don’t understand the severity of the situation. All the things we’ve been trying to do to protect him seem to be a waste. Strugglin’.
So, here I am on Monday morning early. I wake up strugglin’. I’m imagining that because people aren’t taking things seriously, this tiny town will become a new hot zone with us in the middle of it. Lying in my bed I want to cry, I want to flee the scene, I want to be in the safety of my own home back in Tennessee. I pray because I don’t want to feel this way, I shouldn’t feel this way because I’m a good Christian girl and need to be stronger for my husband and his family. I know God that You have made us a way to be here for a reason, but God right now I’m strugglin’. I get up and start writing, letting my feelings out, and it helps me to think and hear the good Lord talk to me through my typing fingers, through words on a screen. I see the sun is rising this morning, the birds are singing, God is soothing my mind. I see too that people are going to be people. When this time in history has passed, there will be those who learn something from it, and those who won’t. It’s been that way since The Beginning. There will still be those who are truly strugglin’ daily to find their way. It’s not just a moment for them, it’s how they live. So, I think about that and how hard it must be not to have a relationship with Christ as a foundation to get through times like these. I may struggle for a moment, but I turn to Him to pull me out of it, to help me get up and do the work God needs me to do just where I am, just as I am. Today is a new day. It’s time that I get back to work. It’s time to show love and service to others. It’s time to take a deep breath, pray, and place my strugglin’ upon the Lord.
I want to say that I am so thankful for those who are caring for the sick. I have watched online their testimonies of faith and stories of their own struggles while dealing with those dying alone from the virus. You all are angels. Prayers and love sent.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 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, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. —2 Corinthians 4:16-18