I am the friend who called Zoe a “woman of faith.” Knowing what I do about her missionary work and deep commitment to her church, it seemed so obvious to me that, just as she was surprised to be described that way, I was surprised to read that it “stopped her.” I’m glad it didn’t stop her from writing. Her words are particularly fitting on this day of national memory.

A deadly ‘checkerboard’: Covid-19’s new surge across rural America—WaPo

May 25, 2020

Living faith in history
by Zoe, on a journey

My friend called me a “woman of faith” and asked me to write. That stopped me. I am a woman of faith, but that someone would describe me such was a surprise. Her description created an opportunity for me to think.

Has faith carried me in this time of isolation?

It occurred to me that in 50 years we will be remembered as the people who lived through “The Pandemic of 2020”. We refer to the 1918 Flu Epidemic, the Great Depression, World War II, the Holocaust, and wonder what it was like for folks to live through such a time.

I realized that I am living during a historic event.

How do I want to live in it, how do I want to be remembered, and has my faith been, dare I say, “useful”?

Reaching 80 years old, it is truth that I have more history than future.

My history reminds me that no matter how dark, how tumultuous or chaotic a period was in my life, it always ended. I can count on it. I believe that the assurance of an end is the very essence of faith.

Faith says—

  • night comes to give rest to difficult days
  • darkness creates space to “not do” just be
  • isolation carves a place for creativity, for meditation, for prayer, for worship
  • separateness allows focus on me without guilt

Have I had some unpleasant days in the last few weeks? Yes. Then faith reminds me that many of my stressors are First World issues. Can’t go to restaurants, can’t meet with friends, unable to get my hair cut, must wear a mask, can’t get to Trader Joe’s anytime I want a certain brand of Gorgonzola—all of these are simply inconveniences.

I am aware that others are living this out in completely different circumstances: alone, out of work, unable to meet financial responsibilities, worried, afraid, sick, grieving.

But this is my story. I have people who love me, no one I know has been brought down by Covid-19, I am safe, healthy, well-fed and strengthened in my awareness of the abundant grace and mercy showered on me by a loving Creator.

I want to be remembered as one of those people who made the best of an unusual and difficult season. Who used this time to learn a new skill, to support others through the magic of electronics, whose faith was deepened because there were fewer distractions. Who recognized that the Divine in each of us is for just a time as this.

Faith says listen to the birds, feel the sun on your face, watch the rain make rivulets on the window, paint, write, bake cookies and make soup. Then sit and be still and absorb the reality of being a blessed woman.

Photo by Zoe

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