This week has been overwhelming, to say the least. This virus has the nation on edge as we all scramble to prepare. Stores are chaotic, people are scared, and businesses are closing left and right. Weddings have been postponed, trips have been canceled, and churches have suspended services. This virus seems to be affecting everything, especially the reactions of others.
Some are saying it’s just a bad flu that doesn’t merit such a reaction, others are thankful for the extreme measures being taken. As a parent of two medically fragile children who are considered high risk, I, for one, would rather err on the side of caution and deal with being in my house for a bit. It’s scary to think that something that I have no control over could harm my children, so if staying home will keep them safe, then home is where we’ll stay.
Earlier this week, a picture fell off my wall out of nowhere. It was heavy, glass, and quite large. It obviously had nothing to do with COVID-19, but it reminded me of something important. It reminded me to have hope and trust in God’s timing.
Sunday afternoon, I heard a loud crash that came from our dining room. I rushed in to find shattered glass everywhere and a huge picture that had fallen off the wall. Thick shards of glass scattered all over the house in an instant. It was scary, especially when I realized that just minutes before I stood there sweeping up glass, all three of my children were playing right underneath it.
I was overcome with gratitude when I realized what could’ve happened to my young children. If that picture had fallen any sooner, my kids would’ve been seriously harmed. Instead of cleaning up the glass, we’d be rushing to the hospital. If they had not sat down for lunch at our kitchen table when they did, things could’ve turned out very differently. Tears filled my eyes, and I thanked God for His protection and perfect timing.
Somehow it brought the coronavirus to my mind. It made me think of the state of our nation. When I heard that crash, I panicked. I panicked that my kids were in danger. When I saw the mound of broken glass, I gasped out of shock. How did this even happen, I wondered. Many of us are wondering the same thing about the spread of COVID-19. How did this happen? Many of us are fearful that this disaster will be something our country won’t fully recover from, but I’m hopeful that this too shall pass.
After I swept up the glass, my husband came in from the garage with the picture. I thought it was broken. I thought he threw it away, but instead, he fixed the broken frame to be even stronger, removed the leftover shattered glass, and hung it back up. What I thought was broken, hopeless, and beyond repair, was now mended and proudly hanging on my wall again. It’s not the same as it was before, but it’s whole again. Our country may never be the same as it was before all of this, but I’m confident that it too will be mended. We will stand tall again.
This may sound like a silly comparison, but this random event that could have harmed my kids reminded me to have faith. It made me want to hold onto hope instead of all the anxiety I’d been carrying with me for days.
I know the threat of this virus is real, and some of us are terrified for the safety of our loved ones. I know this virus is incredibly contagious, but I’ve learned that fear is even more infectious. Fear is what brings panic and mass hysteria. Fear is what drives us apart. Fear is what causes us to honk at each other in the store parking lot. Fear is what makes us try to push ahead of one another in line.
So if you’ve been anxious and full of fear this week like me, I encourage you to remember my shattered picture. It looked broken and beyond repair. It seemed hopeless. It could have hurt my children, but it didn’t. Instead, it was restored into something beautiful again. It’s not the same as it was before, it’s stronger and still just as beautiful.
Let us shift our thoughts to something much more useful than fear. Let us choose to hold onto hope as we deal with this pandemic. Hope is what brings us together. Hope inspires us to let the elderly go ahead of us in line. Hope leads us to be selfless, not greedy. We can’t control this virus, but we can certainly control our reaction to it. We can pray instead of panic. We can hope for the best instead of fear for the worst. We can trust God and remember that broken things can be restored.