A bright spot in a pandemic
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Psalm 127:3-5
I take inspiration for my blogs from people and things I interact with daily. Being closed in with my husband and my mom can give me only so much material to work with, so my postings have been few and far between. We've not fallen victim to the 24-hour news channels. We do watch a little tv at night. We watch shows that have been on forever that we never took time to watch. We watch comedy shows from the '50s and '60s. From an adult perspective, we can truly appreciate the comedic genius of the shows' writers. Also, thanks to the Facebook app, we watch Sunday morning church services streamed onto the big screen.
That's what's happening at my house. Meanwhile, up the street a short distance, a miracle of sorts has taken place.
Let me set the scene for you. A friendly young couple moved in a couple years back and we met them when they strolled past our house, walking their dogs. To honor their privacy, I will call them Jeff and Ellen. We normally saw them walking on weekends, mid-morning, and they'd often paused a moment for a chat. With the onset of COVID, we began talking to each other from across the street in order to practice safe distancing. In the spring, it became apparent that Ellen's gait had changed. She was moving a little slower and so was Jeff. Could it be? It would be rude to ask, of course, but was Ellen now eating for two? Jeff could not keep the news to himself. She sure was. They were expecting and it wouldn't be long. As the due date in early June drew near, Jeff and Ellen kept walking but at an even slower pace. Jeff's blue eyes twinkled with anticipation of the arrival of their first child, a daughter they would call Savannah.
Mid-June, we saw Jeff at their mailbox. He was beside himself. The baby had arrived, safe and healthy, and Ellen was doing great. Jeff was so thrilled, he was nearly levitating.
My husband got to see the baby first, since he spends more time outside than I do. They pushed the stroller by on an evening walk and he got a glimpse of the most beautiful blue eyes he had ever seen.
Fast forward to this past week. I was taking the reycling out to the curb when I saw them halfway past our house.
I think I called out, "It's the baby!" as I ran toward them and stopped short, remembering to keep my social distance. There she was, lying in the stroller, six months old, big blue eyes with a wisp of sandy hair peeking out of her hooded jacket. She looked at me with great curiosity, then she looked at her mother questioningly, as if to say, "Do I know this person?" Jeff said, "Yes, sweetie, there are other people in the world." We adults laughed.
Of all the hardships the world has endured during this pandemic, this little family received a miracle of epic proportions. Not only did they experience the beauty of having their first child, but global circumstances required they stay home, in the house, with this baby every day of her little life. No choosing between work or parenting. No finding the appropriate day care. No tearful goodbyes at leaving this most precious gift in the hands of strangers. Mom and Dad being able to be with this child every day is such a precious gift, it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.
I hope this story makes you smile. I hope it lifts your heart as you picture this sweet little family all nestled safely in their home.
Jeff and Ellen's story is not an isolated incident. Other stories are out there. You likely won't find them in the newspaper or on tv. But I know for certain that in the midst of calamity, if we look for it, we will see the magnitude of God's Presence and great Love for us.
As I recall looking into little Savannah's eyes that day, I feel an overwhelming sense of hope. It rises up in me like the morning mist on a mountain lake. My heart is full and my spirit calm. And, just like Jeff and Ellen, I am extraordinarily blessed.
Holy God, Christ is the author and finisher of our faith. Remind us to look for every day miracles and help us spread hope to all we encounter. Amen.