Tuesday, July 28, 2020

"Sheltering in place"

As August first approaches, the "Stay at home, be safe" mandate from Gov. Inslee is relaxing a bit...with reopening in some areas causing spikes in cases and deaths, not unlike other areas in our country. The US holds the highest numbers for cases and deaths in the world. [25% of deaths worldwide and USA only 5% of worlds population].

I live in a small coastal tourist town on the northern coast of the Olympic Peninsula. As summer arrived with warmer weather, there is an ongoing influx of non-resident visitors filling the main street of town where I live in an apartment. A strong avoidance of social distancing and mask wearing is evident in only 50% or more of people on the streets below my  second floor window.

Being a high-risk target for the virus, I wanted to return to a southern Puget Sound island, only 5 by 6 miles in size..not even one stoplight! A small full-time population and ferry access only.

My goal was to be "safer". Both fear and a desire to "thrive" were my main two motivations..Fear of isolation far from my friends in distance and wanting to thrive with a beautiful wooded landscape and gardening to fill my hours..

As my plans slowly dismantled , one by one, my heart searched for an answer to..

"What has love got to do with it?"

 When the fear of living in this chaotic world with a pandemic , note being led by my own country, I  made a promise to find and express LOVE for GOD, myself and others.

My answer came quickly and the source was clear.

"I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings" Psalm 61:4. .. " nor the pestilence that stalks the darkness..a thousand may fall at your side.(  Death toll currently averages 1000 a day in US)..nor the plague that destroys at midday"..Psalm 91 6-7.

God's gift of deliverence is not a vaccine looming in the distant future against my own and others physical pain and possible death.

I have chosen with some courage to be present each day and open each day as a gift from God.. " I am leaving you with a gift, peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give you is a gift the world cannot give so don't be troubled or afraid." John 14:27

And at the end of each day in the evening.."In peace I will lie down and sleep for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.." Psalm 4:8

His promise, "Be still and know I am God" , Psalm 46:10 , keeps returning to my mind and heart and what follows is "Joy". Fear has no strength in the face of Love. This lamb's face is full of joy as she was carried in the right hand of the attentive Shepherd, shielded by the Lord's wing forming in the sky overhead. Only the emotions of Love and joy in this world stamp out my covid-19 fears .

 As God's word washes over me, like a rolling ocean wave, I will walk through each day as my true heart is slowly revealed by God's grace...