Sunday, March 15, 2020 was a weird day for me. The day, moment by moment, seemed to be surreal from the opening of my eyes in the morning until the moment I closed them to sleep at night.
It began with church service being cancelled. Instead of greeting a couple hundred people with hugs and handshakes, I watched online. It too was a sweet blessing, as the spirit of all the other worshippers seemed present in my quiet study. I could see their heart and thumbs up icon responses from the Facebook page. The situation was different, but good. Several of us lingered after the online presentation and talked through Messenger just as if we were in church in person.
A couple of hours later, a call came from the son of a patient of mine asking me to please go sit with his father who was passing at a nearby nursing center. I readied myself, grabbed my bag, set the house security system and jumped in my car. My car battery was dead. Had I left a cabin light on? My determination alone was going to get that car running. I was going to see my patient. I tried and tried until the dashboard no longer lit up and I was out of luck.
I sat and pondered what to do. I decided to go back in the house where it was warm and figure out how to order a Uber or Lyft ride. I could not unlock the house by my number pad that I had no key for. The security system always lets me in with the correct order of numbers pushed. After a few tries, it was evident the security system alarm battery had also died. What are the odds both my car battery and my house alarm battery would die at the exact same time? Was it the coronavirus?
Rather than despair, I chose adventure. Survival mode kicked in and I called out to the Lord in praise, adoration and for creative help. The adventure was on. I was going to see what the Lord would do as this problem unfolded. I called a friend for a 12-mile ride. He had been feeling bad and was questioning if he had the COVID-19 virus because of all the news and talk of symptoms.
He mentioned he had felt fine for a few hours as if nothing was wrong. He risked and picked me up, dropped me off at the nursing center. After a couple hours and a few calls to friends, I decided to learn how to take a Lyft. What an adventure. The car dropped me off at home. Now I needed to figure out how to get in my house. A three-hour wait in my car while a locksmith was called and a key was made served me well. I prayed and watched the neighborhood. I learned so much about the habits and activity of the neighborhood. Thank you, Lord. I would not have paid attention otherwise. I prayed for the people coming and going as I sat in my car waiting.
Neighbors helped me get the car jumped the next day and all batteries were replaced. The thought ran through my mind that I was so glad I did not have a pacemaker, since many of my important batteries were suddenly dying.
I had learned new things, talked to new and old friends, encouraged many and was made aware that my God is close in time of trouble. He held my hand metaphorically and walked me through a strange, yet wonderful new adventure in a scary time.
The fact we are at home, playing games with children and not running here and there in a busy rampage may be God’s provision to slow us down so He can speak to our souls. It is a strange time that seems to magnify or over dramatize even the unfortunate every day events. The Lord gives us peace for He is the source of peace. It is in praising Him we see His hand turning tragedy into a reason to trust Him more.
Values For Living was written by the Rev. DeVon Davis, Heartland Hospice Chaplain.