Advent Devotional – Saturday, December 5

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Week 1 – December 5 – Surviving the Pandemic

Reflector: Beth Hayward

At the end of February, 2020, Dick and I moved to Frasier Meadows.

We expected the extra socializing and many activities would improve Dick’s dementia. Opportunities beckoned. Then the Pandemic. Total ISOLATION. No activities. No pool. No classes. No library. No dining. All meals delivered. No congregating. No shopping. No church. No socializing, and no one could come in either. No family.

Numerous boxes remained to be unpacked, so we found lots to occupy our free time. We had nothing but time. I re-read old books: The Frontiersman, King Philip’s War, Across the Wide Missouri. I was that desperate. And genealogy – that took a back seat while we were moving, so I focused on our neglected family trees. That ate up weeks of time. I organized my computer files…I had time.

But I missed my family. I missed my church. I missed my friends. I missed my old house.

When Frasier let us walk outside, we reveled in Mother Nature, the fresh air, the sunshine. And we could return to our old house (empty) to clean and store Dick’s tools, which didn’t follow us to Frasier.

During quarantine, meditation was easier; nothing interrupted the quiet.

I remembered an exercise routine from my rotator cuff therapy, repeated that, and lifted weights.

A friend from my writer’s group sent me an unpublished novel to critique for her. That made the time fly.

But I missed my friends. Luckily, several good church members called me regularly to check on me. Hearing their voices gave me a lift, a lifeline.

A quilter friend sent me two masks she made.

I called all my UMW circle members to check in with them.

When we started Zoom meetings, Rick Powers called me and walked me through – I am notoriously inept at technology.

I couldn’t say goodbye to Celene, or welcome Mike, which reinforced our isolation. However, our church has always been a rock during times of frustration, anger, tears, loss or hurt.

We feel blessed that we are surrounded by all of YOU, with God’s love.

And now it’s Advent. I relish the traditions, the discipline of the season, the Joy. Let’s sing.

Prayer: God, who knows our every thought, be our guide as we seek to find peace and joy in these trying and often lonesome times. Be with us as each day we renew our hope that all will be well with the world. As we rejoice in the coming of your Son, help us to also remember that your love surrounds us and passes through us to others as we journey with one another through the days and weeks ahead. Amen.