It seems only yesterday you came into my life. You have been here for a couple of months now, and while our relationship is still new, I feel as though I am beginning to get to know you.
You have changed my life.
Of course, COVID-19, it is tempting to treat this letter as a list of complaints. But I am not going to do that. Even though you have brought challenges, there have been blessings as well. Silver linings are emerging.
I know this may come as a surprise to you, COVID-19. I suspect you wanted to shut the whole world down in misery and terror. But that has not happened. Good things are happening, things for which I am immensely grateful.
Good things are happening.
Here are 10 things I love about you:
1. I am witnessing the kindness of others toward strangers. They are giving way to each other in the supermarket, going shopping for their neighbours and smiling at each other. It may not look like much to you, COVID-19, but it means the world to me.
2. I am appreciating the outdoors more. Given my outings are limited these days, I appreciate being able to go for a walk, feeling the sun on my skin, breathing the cool morning air, and taking in the birds and trees and natural beauty all around me.
3. Shopping has become a true highlight. What used to be a chore, dragging myself around the supermarket, is becoming a genuine pleasure. Especially when it is shared with family.
What used to be a chore is becoming a genuine pleasure.
4. I am profoundly grateful for the technology we have, which allows us to keep in touch with family and friends everywhere.
5. And the technology, while unfamiliar, is stretching me. It is a learning curve and I think it is a good thing.
6. Texts, direct messages, social media comments and phonecalls have double the meaning they used to have. Receiving a text was commonplace before, but nowadays, it seems extra-special when a dear friend takes the time to message me. It is as valuable as gold.
7. I am learning to pace myself. Work seems especially demanding at present and tasks take extra time to complete. So it has been tempting, COVID-19, to counteract your effects by working even harder than usual. But I have decided not to do that. I think I will take even more breaks than I did before. Because I will not wear myself out – not on your account.
I will not wear myself out – not on your account.
8. I am figuring out where my dependence truly lies. I often say I depend on God for everything, but the truth is I rely on many other things and people too. This is ok, unless those other things and people become idols. I am working out whether I truly trust God above all else. And guess what, COVID-19. I think I really do trust God.
9. I am learning afresh how to rest in God. I am leaning on him. I am remembering that I do not need to prove myself to him. His love is already abundant in my life. So I am resting in that.
His love is abundant in my life.
10. I am profoundly grateful for all these things, even more than I was before.
So there you have it, COVID-19. What you meant for harm has turned to good. That is the resilience of humankind. And the kindness of God.
How have you met the challenges of COVID-19? Where have you seen kindness demonstrated? What things are you grateful for today? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation.