Notice: noun. the fact of observing or paying attention to something
I feel like time stopped sometime back in March. I’m sure I’m not the only one. And here we are, 9 months later, wondering where the year has gone. So much has changed- how we work, go to school, do the groceries, interact with friends, family and community. Our world and how we function in it has fundamentally and profoundly changed.
I’ve been keeping a journal since, well, forever….but especially during this past year. Something about processing on paper gives me perspective. Even so, time seems to have escaped me and here we are in October with no sign of Before or of some kind of definitive ending point. I’m starting to think that there won’t be an actually ending point, just a strange morphing into whatever is going to be.
Everything requires so much thought now. If we were living in a time crunch before, now we have that plus all of the questions that go along with it….are they open? do I need a mask? what is the risk here? is it worth it? should I just put it off?
Some days I am just so weary from the weight of decision making and I wish we could either go back in time to Before, or move on ahead quickly to the New Normal. When I flipped my calendar to October, I just couldn’t believe it was already here. We are in a free fall now to the holidays and the new year ahead. The holidays coming up will bring another burst of decision making as we prepare how to gather.
I can’t keep living my life holding my breath, waiting for things to return to normal.
I want to notice the changing of the seasons, the leaves turning to gold and the air turning crisp. I want to notice the kindness of strangers, the smile above the mask. I want to notice those who are struggling, the worry lines and dark circles under their eyes, because I want to look them in the eyes and say, I see you. I want to notice the people in my sphere, to really see them, and offer kindness.
I can’t fix covid. I can’t fix uncertainty, the political climate or the riots, but I can breathe in the air of a new day, smile back at others, offer a hand and a prayer to those who are struggling. I can make a phone call, write a note of encouragement, share and laugh. We can still gather, carefully.
And I can have hope, because God is still God. He is not taken by surprise. He is not wringing His hands in worry and He hasn’t lost control . Our days still matter. Today matters.
You have given us the day, with all of its challenges and blessings. Open our eyes to Your hand at work and to the Holy Spirit’s whisper in our hearts. Help us to notice where we can make a difference, where we can serve, and how we can be a reflection of Your goodness. In Jesus’ name we pray.
What I’m reading right now: Your Story Matters by Leslie Fields Leyland
Quote: ….writing the truest words we can find from our lives can order our chaotic present, help us make sense of a jumbled past, move us from grief to hope.