Saturday, April 11, 2020
Twenty-Twenty Vision: Carolyn R. Wilker
As a friend put it, after a positive eye check-up early in the year, she hoped that this year her vision could be 20-20. That she could continue to see clearly and also look ahead to the new year with renewed courage.
Symbolic perhaps until we were hit with the coronavirus that has shut down so many businesses and left people, including me, wondering how long this will take to pass us by.
Is it anything like the Israelites getting the word to leave Egypt for the Promised Land, leaving other hardships behind to be faced by the Red Sea on one side, mountains on another, and their former captors coming after them? That would have been a dire situation. It terrified them, and they asked if they would have been better off staying where they were. Not unlike us now.
Those who’ve read that Exodus story (Exodus 14) know what happened. They thought they were doomed, but Moses asked God for help. And he followed what God said, to raise his walking stick, and the sea parted. They were rescued from what we could call an enemy.
Our time now might be likened to the situation at the Red Sea. Not the same for sure, with our electronic capabilities, our modern society that offers many advantages that the Israelites would never have dreamed of. Neither would we have been in this place 20 years ago.
We fear for lives; we practise physical distancing. We have the internet and telephone to stay in touch with family, even when we cannot be near them. And we can order online.
I miss the hugs of my family and my grandchildren, and time with friends. It’s a kind of grief to leave behind what we had and to face the unknown. The virus is such a new thing that epidemiologists are studying and still trying to understand. And for now, we practice being apart, even when it’s terribly hard.
I listened to a message this evening from a local church, taped today for their Easter Sunday. We have beautiful churches with stained glass windows where worship took place up to the beginning of March. But it is the people in it who are the church. The people who go out of their way to assist those who need help, who are involved in front line care of the sick, people who deliver groceries to those who are unable, or better off not to go out. Many more acts of grace are out there, I’m sure.
The church is active outside the building. Our adult children are taking care of our groceries and we’re staying home, except for a short daily walk, because it is better that we do. Ministers, including our own, are presenting short services and meditations, offering music and prayers on a variety of platforms, and those who can support the effort are doing so.
Last week, while keeping our distance, two grandchildren danced for us on our driveway. Their mom had been coaching them and their dad supported the effort. It was a gift and a ministry at a time when my heart needed some consolation in our “Red Sea” event.
Who will rescue us?
We hope that the death count slows and that fewer contract the virus. We want people to do what they can, even when we feel restless ourselves, until a vaccine can be created. And then we have God knowing, God’s 20-20 vision, his love helping us get through it.
As we celebrate this Easter, in a time that may be hard and tiresome, painful even, remember that God is with us. Our vision may not be 20-20, but through Jesus’ resurrection, we are promised a place in heaven at the end of our lives. We need help to see this through, and God can do that.
Carolyn Wilker is a writer from southwestern Ontario.
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