“Ooh! Weet!” Ben exclaimed when he saw the bouquet our church dropped off the other day. Even though services and activities have resumed, some of us are still quarantined due to health risks. Ben is one of those and, by extension, me – although he can’t comprehend why.
Ben has been at home, almost totally isolated, since early March. The first five months he was depressed and frustrated, but gradually he adjusted to the limitations and now cheerfully takes them in stride.
I, however, am weary. In the beginning, there was a learning curve and a lot of other people in the same situation. It was motivating to keep our spirits up together, to encourage an outward focus, and to keep an upward perspective. But now most people around us have moved on, albeit with limitations, to enjoy the warmth of human contact, while Ben and I still linger in isolation, waiting for a freedom that keeps stretching farther into the distance.
I look at Ben, eyes shining with delight over the flowers, and I remember how last week he raced down the front steps to leap into the arms of a co-worker after months of separation. Just yesterday he brought in the groceries, celebrating over each box of granola bars and jar of applesauce. I see him find joy in life’s gifts even in his loneliness – this one who needs to give and receive hugs like the rest of us need air.
I watch him, and I am humbled. It is a wonderful world, after all. For all the losses and isolation, there are still joys to be found and gifts to marvel over. There are still innumerable things to be grateful for.
The sun still gently rises, painting the icy lake with the soft light of morning. Ben snuggles close, naming the colors as they seep over the horizon. The ancient text in my lap still humbles and encourages me. It is God who appoints times and seasons and who sustains his creation; who sings over his children, holding out hope in an ever-darkening world.
It is God who provides, but it is I who must choose to receive and appreciate the provision. It is God who thunders, but it is I who must choose to remove my shoes in wonder. It is God whose eyes roam to and fro throughout the earth, seeking to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. Those eyes seek me and find me, here on the couch with Ben. I am seen. It is enough.