I had to slam my freezer shut and lean on it hard to keep it closed. I couldn’t stop looking up listicles about vegetables with long shelf lives. But I didn’t want anyone else to know I had turned into a closet doomsday prepper, so I cautiously kept sending my son to school. He started going to a very small private school a few months ago, and I didn’t want to interrupt his new routine unless I had to.
But I wish I had prepared him for the way fear spreads—just like a virus. One kid fills up, and before you know it, the entire playground is full of small children who are worried about becoming orphans.
“Mom?” my son began calmly as we drove away from school.
“Yes, buddy,” I called to the back seat, navigating around a narrow turn on the two-lane road toward home.
“I’m kind of worried about the coronavirus.”
“Oh! Why’s that?” My mind immediately began racing. How can I reassure him? How can I calm his heart?
I’m ashamed to admit it, but Scripture never once entered my mind. I employed a strategy of deny, deny, deny. I got so wrapped up in taking care of this virus situation myself, I forgot I have a Father in Heaven who loves me and my son and every single other human literally more than life. Literally. As in, He died rather than leave us in a broken and wretched state. And then He’s so powerful that He didn’t even stay dead. If He loves me that much and has that much power…He’s a secure place to let go of my fears.
But I wasn’t thinking about God when my son said, “I’m not so much worried for me, because I heard that kids aren’t getting sick. But I heard old people are, so what if you and Daddy get sick and die?”
Oof. Also, ouch. Did he just lump me in with the elderly and infirm?
This essay was published in full over at Kindred Mom. I’m so grateful to them for allowing me to share my experiences from the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic!
Even though this is a hard and scary time, and none of us originally intended to give up face-to-face interactions for Lent, we still do have a God who cares about us deeply. Nothing that happens today changes what He did for us on the cross. I am, in a weird way, grateful for this season, which reminds me that Christ suffered, and my comfort on this earth is not guaranteed.
I hope you check out the rest of this essay and are encouraged. Or, if you head over to Kindred Mom, you can listen to it in podcast form, with a short interview at the end!
Much love and happy (almost) Easter,