My wife and I received a card yesterday from one of our granddaughters. It was home made and it was artistic and it was poetic and it was poignant all at the same time. On the cover it said “Whenever I think of you I smile”. On the inside there was a row of paper people that were connected to each other that unfolded as you opened the card. On the left side was the word “Alone”. On the right side was the word “Together”.
The more I looked at this card and thought about it the more it touched my heart in view of what COVID-19 is doing to all of us right now. We are all alone in our isolation. My age and my recent blood clot incident demand that I stay away from people as much as possible. Aside from my faithful wife and nurse I am alone. My granddaughter is at home trying to find another job but no one is hiring right now or doing interviews so she too is alone. Everyone in my family and in your family are in some way working from home or staying away from public places and so we are all feeling alone. And yet we are all in this together as the row of paper people on my granddaughter’s card reminds us. Our hearts and thoughts continue to reach out to those around us. As we think of our children and our friends and every human being we know of who is working and struggling and feeling alone we hope our thoughts are felt by them. And as we think of others we remember that others are thinking of us and that bridges the isolation and helps us to see that we are still together.
As we approach Easter this coming Sunday it makes me think of the women who went to the tomb just as the sun was rising on a new day. Their Lord was dead. They were devastated by what they had witnessed when they saw Him die on the cross. Yet they still felt connected to Him. If they couldn’t talk to Him and sit in His loving presence at least they could anoint His body. They could still perform an act of love with their hands and their hearts. And then they discovered that He wasn’t dead. He was alive. They were not alone. They were together with their Lord and nothing could ever take that away from them. Life was stronger than death.
As Jesus’ followers we understand how the women in the tomb felt when their isolation gave way to reunion. As we wait for the sheltering in place to come to its end, as we eat our Easter dinner alone, as we wait for job interviews to resume, as we wait for every day life to resume, may my granddaughter’s words lift your hearts as it has lifted mine. We are alone and yet we are not alone. Our God and our God’s people are all around us to keep us together until we can see and hug each other in person.