We're asked, "How are you?"
And we say, "Fine."
And even if we're the one asking, deep down, we may hope the response from the other person will be "Fine."
It's less messy that way.
As farmers, our job is deemed essential. In reality, much of our daily routine hasn't changed. My kids have all kept their jobs and are working from home. They are facing different challenges, trying to combine full-time jobs with keeping an 8-year-old and 5-year-old focused on at-home learning. My immediate and extended family are well.
I have an internet connection - though I'd certainly like it to be faster. My cell phone works - at least most of the time.
And though I can get along fine in a group setting, I am an introvert at heart. In these days of limited human contact, that character trait can be a blessing, too. I'm sure these restrictions are much harder on extroverts who thrive on socialization.
However, as an empath, I have decided to limit my news watching. One sister would tell you that even "Little House on the Prairie" could have me in tears back in the day. OK, if I'm really honest, there are commercials that can accomplish that. So watching real life suffering is overwhelming. It's better for my mental health to distance myself from the avalanche of sad images.
Since that's my "normal" setting, this Covid-19 crisis can be crushing. I can only take small doses. But I've found that nature can be an antidote for those moments.
Last Sunday was like that. Even though we joined our church via Facebook Live, I missed the face-to-face interaction. We Zoomed with Jill's family and Brent. But when we disconnected from the video and audio feed, I felt the weight of that disconnection in my bones.
Later, we watched the ACM's "Our Country" special. As always, music causes emotions to bubble to the surface for me. It was time for a change of scenery. Thankfully, as I looked out the front door, I decided a sunset excursion was just what I needed. Randy suggested driving into the Peace Creek pasture.
As we bumped our way toward the creek, I was hoping the old pickup wouldn't rattle apart. Why not add another worry to the list, right? But the shake, rattle and roll was worth it when we got to the water and looked to the western sky.
The convention centers transformed into triage units are real.
Families interacting with the sick and lonely through a pane of glass are real.
Our Easter celebrations won't happen with our kids or church family. That is reality, too.
But so is the beauty of God's world. And when the "realness" of this situation overcomes us, it's probably time to take a breath and look Up .... for more reasons than the scenery.
The Stafford community was supposed to have Holy Week services this week. Through the efforts of my friend, Linda Hiebert, a series of #ShareHope specials have been launched. I've linked them to our church's Facebook page, Stafford First United Methodist Church, and to my own Facebook page (Kim Moore Fritzemeier) so you can find them there. (Send me a friend request on Facebook. I'll be your friend.) I've linked one to this post to whet your appetite.
Give them a listen. I will share a song, illustrated with my photography, in Holy Saturday's installment. Check back with me then.
I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart.
And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives.
So don't be troubled or afraid.
-- John 14:27
Here are the other links: https://youtu.be/ssmi9aVKA9k - Pianist Denise McNickle Bullock plays her own mashup of "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" and "Lean On Me."
https://youtu.be/2IpsVtI6dTs - Singer Janet Hardin accompanied by Linda Hiebert sings "He Is Faithful."
https://youtu.be/Rz7Pz6YihrM - Judy Mays tells the story of "It Is Well With My Soul," accompanied by Linda.
https://youtu.be/mXnU2OxO3Xg - Shelly Berens accompanied by Linda sings "My Tribute."