Written by J. Edward and Brenda Campbell
We are finding that social distancing and wearing a mask for protection of ourselves and others is the new norm in our lives. These are words that we have all come to hear, speak, and, hopefully, embrace for many months. Some words we aren’t hearing as much are “we have never done it that way” or “that will never work” because we are all learning new ways to improvise, change, and simply make it work in our daily lives. We have learned, and continue to learn, that we are all in this together.
Daily we hear of cancellations and postponement of many activities and events, and we hear news of businesses that are closing or that are laying-off and furloughing employees. While there are many cancellations and postponements, one thing we can be sure of is that Hope is not postponed or cancelled. One of my favorite Bible verses is “For I know the plans I have for you [and I believe for all of us] declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).
We have always enjoyed walking, but we are walking more and going on longer walks these days. We have waved and spoken to neighbors and people in our neighborhood that we have not met or spoken with before. Dogs run to their fences and greet us on our daily walks. It is so good to see so many people outside enjoying themselves and appreciating the beauty that God has provided for all of us to enjoy. Walking slower and taking time to really look around, we really begin to notice things that we have never noticed before and realize again that truly “God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good” in so many ways. He provides for all of us.
Making phone calls to others, checking in to see how everyone is doing, asking how others are “holding up,” and seeing if anyone needs anything are becoming routine to us during this time of quarantine and “staying safer at home.” Zoom has become the technology tool that we now use to see others face to face and to view church services, weddings, funerals, and other events.
Those who know us know that we, in some ways, are very opposite. J. Edward is the very social one and Brenda is not so much. She enjoys gardening, her happy place, but she is retired and he is not. J. Edward has continued to work and rely on Zoom for continuing education classes for his work, board meetings, and other work-related meetings that he needs to attend. He is into social media and keep connected with others through Facebook, personal phone calls, emails, and texts.
Playing the piano and learning new songs has been a good place during this time. We’re taking a break from piano lessons as we social distance but am tackling new arrangements on our own like “What a Wonderful World,” and “I Believe.” A friend emailed a jazz arrangement of “Star Dust” by Hoagy Carmichael, which is a little challenging but fun. You can teach an older man something new, and piano is our go-to place for comfort during these days.
As we continue to navigate through this current situation, we find comfort in Mother’s favorite Bible verse which is, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Phillipians 4:13). Another go-to verse for us is Psalm 23:1: “The Lord is my Shepherd and I shall not want.”
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.