When I developed a blood clot in my leg on January 19th I went into free fall. When I awoke thirty-six hours later and found my family standing around my bed I was overwhelmed by their love for me and my love for them. In the days that followed I found myself thinking again and again of the words of Psalm 139, “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” In light of my time in free fall when I didn’t know where I was or what was happening to me I realized that I was not falling into nothingness. God’s right hand was still holding me fast. His love was greater than my peril and my weakness. His love knows no bounds. There is nothing so dark and dangerous but his love and power are greater.
I can’t help but think that this time of peril that has come upon us with the coronavirus is like my time in the hospital. We are all in free fall right now. Everyone in my family is in free fall right now. My school teachers are home trying to work out online assignments for their students. My younger grandchildren are at home trying to figure out how to do school work and not think it is all play time. My college senior has been told her graduation has been canceled. My brother is facing major health issues. As schools close, airlines have few if any passengers, sporting events are canceled, the food industry is taking a major hit, hospitals are bracing to be inundated with sick patients, it looks like we are all in free fall and have no idea when we will hit bottom and how long it will take to rise up and get on our feet again.
For my family and for all of you who are reading this blog I hope you will find as I found in my time in the hospital that the hands that are around us are bigger than the peril we are facing. We are not falling into a bottomless pit. We are stunned, disoriented, scared, and fearful of the future, but we will find our way because of those hands that are around us.
Related to the deep love that God has for us is that this deep love is not only around us, it is within us. I didn’t know how deeply I loved my family until I looked at their faces standing around my bed. I didn’t know how deeply they loved me until I saw them looking down upon me.
What a time this coronavirus crisis is for us to look around us and to see who needs the deep love that dwells in our hearts. We can’t go to church, we can’t go out to eat, we can’t go to the movies, but we know many people who are special to us that would love to receive a phone call from us. We can facebook. We can text. We can email. We can find lots of ways to connect instead of isolating and watching old movies. We can listen to people’s fears. We can offer comfort and consolation. We can make plans of what we can do together when the worst of this is past.
So please join me in identifying folks who are scared, lonely, and hurting. If we can reach out to them we can help them in their free fall to see they are falling into hands that care. Hands that can slow their fall. Hands that will be there when we find the bottom.