The other day, I asked Court what he was going to do for his birthday, which is August 8. It’s a big one — he turns 40. He gave a half-laugh, and said, “Really, what is there to do?”
Though that is a fairly glass-half-empty response (and I can’t IMAGINE where he gets THAT), it is unfortunately also true. You can go out to eat, but you will be isolated and choosing from a much-downsized menu. And nothing says you have reached a landmark birthday like being served by a faceless person wearing a mask.
No movies. No sporting events. No concerts that you have waited a lifetime to see. Just some happy birthdays from your loved ones and maybe a pair of socks. Still, birthday kisses from your kids are a precious gift, quarantine or not.
Things just never seem to change these days. Now Dr. Fauci is suggesting we might need to start wearing protective eye gear. As 10-year-old Mylee (who is wise beyond her years) said, “Next thing you know, we’ll be wearing hazmat suits.” I laughed, but I thought to myself that a year ago if you told me I would be wearing a mask every time I left my house, I would have laughed in your face. Now I can’t even see your face. Nothing would surprise me these days.
But, the good news is, as St. Paul told the Romans, nothing will separate us from the love of God. Neither anguish, persecution, famine, nor peril will do us in, because God is always with us.
Boy, sometimes it’s really difficult to see the hand of God in our lives these days. I’m a pretty good and faithful Christian, but I often find myself asking why God keeps handing us these burdens. Just when it feels like things are getting back to some semblance of normal, COVID-19 numbers start rising. Isn’t it bad enough that we have to cheer for our baseball teams with cardboard cutouts mimicking fans in the stands? Basketball players are being isolated in a Disney World “bubble” so that they stay safe. All the Mickey Mouse you could want, with no kids to share it with.
Having said that, I don’t believe that God handed us a novel virus as a means of punishing us. I don’t believe that COVID is a sign that the world is coming to an end. COVID-19 is a result of something that we humans did. Perhaps it was a clumsy scientist who knocked over a vial of the virus without knowing. (Can you tell that I barely passed biology in high school AND college?) What I do believe is that God is standing with us, keeping us strong, giving us tools to cope.
I am keeping my fingers crossed and praying with great gusto that a vaccine is developed soon. In the meantime, I have to believe that God is standing by my side every minute of the day. I bet he doesn’t like the way I use his name sometimes. Yikes.