As the world groans with the affects of Corona Virus, we watch in almost surreal disbelief at what is happening. For the last four weeks we have felt the tightening grip of restrictions, as Lebanon moved from schools closing and social distancing, to mandated stay at home rules. Now it is with army enforcement that we can only go out for groceries or medical needs. They are also sealing any unnecessary businesses open with red wax, with rumor never to be opened again. Now an enforced curfew is in place from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. We shake our heads wondering how a nation that was already in desperate financial state, will survive this economic blow?
Week one through three wasn’t too different for us as we still home schooled and on-line schooled, social distanced, and had the freedom to come and go on our local MEU campus. However, week four equals Darron working from home, and us not leaving our apartment. So far, we are coping by doing school. Yay for homeschool…we just never stop. I am so thankful for my on-line master classes. It is a steady constant. We are trying to adapt to having Darron work from home, with all his conference calls and meetings, we must tiptoe and whisper more. The guys are building a terrace wall on a steep bank out our back gate for exercise each day; however, this morning Darron ran two miles in our little tiny back yard while I did an aerobic workout.
We feel safe. The stores are stocked. There are funny rules that we don’t understand as everything is spoken in Arabic, but understand partially because of gestures. Wear your mask, wear these disposbale gloves. Only so many people can be in the fresh fruit and vegetable section. We almost got in trouble as 5 of us expats ended up in the vegetable section at the same time (completely unplanned) and took a photo, in our spontaneous joy at seeing each other.
There are some loudspeaker messages played from vehicles blared out onto the streets that we don’t understand. We know that our refugee friends are really suffering through this, as they have been completely cut off from work. We have friends who are stranded in different countries and the airports are shut, so we have so much to be grateful for. So much. We watch Papua, and many of our expat friends leaving quickly. We watch America as the numbers rise. And we pray.
I savor this purple budding tree that has been an absolute treat these past four weeks. Now the purple buds are falling, and little green leaves are emerging. I also love being able to buy fresh oranges with leaves still on them, that taste better than words can put to their citrus splendor. This virus will pass, and new days will emerge, but we will always remember the speed at which our world changed and “normal” spun out of each of our hands. Unbelievable. Surreal. Yet we rest, believing that after we have suffered awhile, God will PERFECT, ESTABLISH, STRENGTHEN, AND SETTLE us (1 Peter 5:10). I love those four words. They are worth pressing into and claiming.
Courage to each of you as you wait, pray, and watch with us.
“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and grew gardens full of fresh food, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they themselves had been healed.”
~Kathleen O’Meara (1839-1888)