THIS IS WHAT A BLOG ARTICLE LOOKS LIKE when the writer doesn’t know where he’s going, beyond saying that he is afraid.
I have four grandchildren ages four and under. My two grandsons have a mom, my daughter, who works in a children’s hospital clinic. Their dad is an eye doc. Both the mom and dad see patients week in and week out.
They are trying not to expose the kids, or the grandparents, Moi and Mrs. Moi. But viruses are tiny bugs that can hitch a ride on a hair.
My wife is a nurse. She started a day shift gig this morning.
I told her she has two jobs. Help her patients, for one. Keep her family alive, for the other.
“Wear a mask,” I said.
“Oh, I will,” she says.
I think she knows our lives might depend on it. We’re both in the age range you might call “Least likely to get debugged.”
For the record, I just deleted the next half of the article. Who wants to hear about Bible plagues and Fox News, two terms well-spoken in one breath.
See what I mean? It’s that easy to step off the trail and into the weeds.
But the trail ahead looks worse than dark. Worse than blinding fog. It looks like nothing. Like we’re walking into nothing to face an invisible slayer.
And they tell us to wash our hands and wear a mask.
Then they tell us to die alone. Or on Facetime with a loved one if we time it right.
What a tragically unique moment in the history of the human race.
The American Front is the hospital and the grocery store. Special Opps are grocery store baggers, nurses, and physicians.
Ministers seek to encourage over video. How’s that working for you?
Politicians keep talking, but we turn the channel to find a scientist or a doctor with something honest and helpful to say.
Families keep their distance and share a meal over Zoom, which is both heart wrenching and heartwarming.
Anyone seen God?
But where is God?
I think it would be easy to paint him as the angel of death. The story is unfolding in biblical proportion. But we probably shouldn’t place him in the wet markets of China, selling bats to hungry little boys. No. That’s on us. We do that to each other.
I can see Jesus. He’s there on the Galilean hillside saying, “Don’t worry about tomorrow. At least wait until you get there. Every new day has all the trouble we need” (Matthew 6:34 Casual English Bible).
Well, having written this yesterday, I can testify that Jesus got that one right.
So I look to the Bible for a word of encouragement. Why do I stop here?
I was a wise teacher with much understanding, and I collected a number of proverbs that I had carefully studied. Then I tried to explain these things in the best and most accurate way….My child, I warn you to stay away from any teachings except these.
There is no end to books,
and too much study
will wear you out” (Ecclesiastes 12:9-10 , 2 CEV).
Sometimes there’s no place to go but where you are.
Sometimes all you have to hang onto is what a dear friend of mine who has a serious dose of leukemia keeps reminding himself: “God loves me.”
Sing it if you can. “Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.”
In the crush of it all, that’s where we go because that’s who we are.
Your heart is definitely heavy, my friend. Sometimes we all feel this way, if it’s only consolation.
I felt this same way after 9/11. What happened to yesterday? Will I ever feel that way again?
Some days I just take long walks and say “Jesus Christ is Lord of all” over and over like a mantra. Some days I trust that everything is going to be okay — and then I cough and I wonder if I should write out all my passwords so that those I leave behind can clean up after me if I suddenly go.
Meantime I’ve stopped watching the news and I only skim the headlines from Reuters to look for new developments. Otherwise I just thank God for his mercy and grace. Because whatever form that takes, it’s really all we can depend on.
Blessing and love, dear friend.
Stephen M. Miller
Hey, thanks Steve.
In my nuclear family, there’s me, my wife, my daughter, and my son. My son and I are relatively safely sequestered in home offices. My wife and daughter are fighting the virus on the front lines. As healthcare workers, they are in harm’s way while the virus wave comes at the heartland, rolling in from all 4 directions. We’re surrounded. But then, I guess everyone is. Not everyone realizes it. Ignorance is often where the danger lies. I fear the ignorance perhaps almost as much as the virus. And I’m saddened that my kids have to parent without our support and that our grandkids have to settle for kisses thrown into an iPhone or through a car window at 6 feet away.
What a remarkable time, which requires remarkable people who rely on the guidance and comfort of a remarkable Spirit and on the comradely of family and friends and selfless strangers.
Stay safe up there, with your wife, your daughter, and The Boy.
I think of the song, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full on His wonderful face. And the things of this earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” I remind myself of this when I find my self fearful. Mrs. Goode, a prayer warrior of Billy Graham’s used to sing this when we prayed with her as seminary students at Fuller. She loved “her seminary boys”, but she also included me!!
Stephen M. Miller
Rev. Richard Hagee graduate of Boston School of Theology
I have hope all will be ok and I pray for everyone I can think of, world leaders, citizens of other countries, the church folks I’ve known across the United States, persons in hospitals, in the medical field, in our church, in our school district I used to work for among others. I can’t interpret what God is thinking in all this and what His actions are during this pandemic. I’m just hunkering down and trying to keep busy in my home.
Stephen M. Miller
Me, too, Rev. Me, too.