by Mitsi Willard
"...a day is like a thousand years..."
(2 Peter 3:8)
Sometime in the last week, one of my Facebook friends posted this verse with the comment, “Never has a portion of scripture been more accurate and relevant.” As someone who has been homebound with children over the last few weeks, I feel this verse deep within my soul.
I’m reminded of that oft-quoted line when my children were newborns, “The days are long, but the years are short.” What made those days (and the current days) sooooo long? Is it the unrelenting laundry? The fact that everyone feels the need to eat at least three times a day? Is it the loneliness? The abrupt change into a world where our freedoms to do as we please have altered, because we are no longer exclusively focused on what suits ourselves? Is it the uncertainty--the worries about doing the right thing for ourselves, our families, our communities? It’s likely some murky combination of all of this.
I intended for my April Lay Reader submission to be about Faith at Home; I envisioned shiny happy practices to implement when life is too busy to make it to every service of Holy Week. What an irony. So, what does Faith at Home look like when you’re stuck at home indefinitely?
Maybe Faith at Home looks like hope. Knowing that things won’t always be quite the way they are now. Hoping that things will be more “balanced” whenever we make it back to a new normal.
Maybe Faith at Home looks like gratitude. A new acknowledgment of the abundance and ease in which most of us have so comfortably lived up until now. A new thankfulness for the people who are keeping our society going by stocking grocery shelves, picking up our trash each week, caring for the health of others. New (and abundant) thanks for those who educate our children and make it look easy.
Maybe Faith at Home looks like prayer. Whether it’s silly and loud over another chaotic dinner, or a whispered, “Lord, have mercy.” When my 4th baby was a newborn (and the other three were all under age six), her lullaby was often the Kyrie; “Lord, have mercy. Christ have mercy.” Maybe prayer takes on a new form while you are practicing your Faith at Home.
Maybe Faith at Home is demonstrating for our children, our families, our friends, that even when we don’t know what the next day or week or month looks like, we trust that God is already there. We trust that God’s love will strengthen us so that we can pour that love into the lives of others.
If you’d like some resources for Faith at Home practices beyond these, I’d encourage you to check out some of the phenomenal things being published daily by my colleagues at FORMA and Forward Movement (https://www.dofaithathome.org/). The brilliant minds at Illustrated Ministry are also making free materials available each week while the country faces the COVID-19 pandemic (illustratedministry.com/flattenthecurve). Also, stay tuned to our Heavenly Rest Abilene and Heavenly Rest Kids on Facebook for updates and insights from our own church. And please, wash your hands.