Every time I pull up this website I’m always a little embarrassed over the length of time I’ve let it sit untouched. Of one thing I’m confident, lives have gone on just fine without hearing about field trips with my kids (they are all grown now) or a handbag I found on sale at Target or a devotional thought about a spiritual thing. Nevertheless, I miss the good ‘ole days of interacting with my blog friends.
But the mini-Apocalypse happened and it feels needful to make mention of the craziness that has been 2020. In the same way I’ve always wished I had asked my grandmothers more about living during the depression with food rations and through actual World Wars, I think one day our grandchildren will want to know what dailiness was like during a global pandemic. Historians will certainly take a stab at it, but anyone fleeing Facebook and Twitter will understand why it’s important we chronicle our own experiences and hold them close since any truth-telling that doesn’t align with the accepted narrative is likely to either be slapped with “fact-checking” warnings or deleted altogether.
We all bemoaned January being the longest month ever not realizing those would be the best 90 days of the year. February brought rumblings of a bizarre bat virus taking hold in China, and by March we were in a world-wide lockdown.
Quarantine had its own progression. Boredom eating, toilet paper hoarding, essential businessing, remote-working, elastic-waist pants wearing, home hair-coloring, more eating, exercising, involuntary homeschooling, social media fighting, which color matters protesting, city burning, police defunding, limited country re-opening, mask wearing or not wearing, election having, and election result questioning. Each of these deserves its own commentary but not here and now.
This season of time has been unsettling and as recently as a few days ago I may have gone off on a tangent about how media censorship over the recent hotly contested election is reading like a page straight from an Orwellian 1984 playbook and expressed low level anxiety over the fundamental idealisms of the newly elected government and the effect on our livelihoods, but…I’ve calmed.
Do you know why?
Because the USA may be my country, but it is not my Kingdom.
Luke and I have semi-seriously discussed if a place existed where government was less convoluted, people less divided, and common sense still reigned.
Here’s our list:
Oh wait. There’s not one. There are no places.
If a person is looking for a better Kingdom, it won’t be found here on planet earth. The good news is that there is a transcendent realm where none of the worries and anxieties of this present age have any effect. (1 Peter 1)
I speak of the Kingdom of Heaven where Jesus reigns. I speak of the One who, while living in the Middle East in a far more corrupt government than we can every imagine and through an unjust trial was sentenced to death, said about paying taxes, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” (Mark 12:17) That simple statement models for all of us the extent to which we should be riled up about fairness of political matters. Let’s worry about Caesar when we’ve given God his full due.
What does that look like? It’s different for everyone. For me, I’m asking hard questions of myself on how I can be salt and light to people desperate for more than entitlements and lead those within the community of faith to do the same. I’m asking God to rekindle the flame of those gifts He’s called me to exercise so that I can give Him the first fruit of my thought life, time, and energy. Part of that includes reclaiming responsibility and ownership of the memories I hold dear, the pictures that say all the words I don’t know how to express, the sporadic devotional writings, and other communications with family and friends outside of the Facebook platform. One doesn’t realize how deeply they are entangled in social media until they try to plan an exit. If you don’t believe me, try it.
Edited to add: I didn’t exactly depart Facebook altogether but am happy to say the Lord has used these insane times to do a great work within our church body – our women’s ministry in particular – that has been some of the most fulfilling work I’ve had the privilege of witnessing. I hope to share what’s been going on behind the scenes in hopes that others may be encouraged to God at work when the enemy is doing his very best to keep us disconnected and divided.
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