This pandemic has felt like the year of “no”

(Thankful Notes #365)

This morning I made breakfast for the family and then took a spin around the lake with Camper on the floating dock. This was all “Yes, and Amen.”

I find myself frequently measuring the pandemic by the number of times I’ve done (or not done) something (during the pandemic). Some counts are official, others are kept casually in my head.

I’ve written 23 church update e-mails
I’ve given Camper 5 Sentinel tablets (flea and tick medication)
I’ve worn pants 2 times
I’ve clipped the cats’ nails 7 times
I’ve ordered Nespresso pods 3 times
I’ve fed Camper 336 times
I’ve sat inside a restaurant to have a meal 2 times
I’ve been to a movie theater 0 times
I’ve had 173 baths
I’ve sprayed Flonase in my nose 672 times
I’ve slept outside (on the deck) 100 days in a row
I’ve been to Costco 0 times
I’ve ordered clothing from Amazon 17 times
I’ve been inside a hospital 1 time
I’ve done a memorial service 1 time
I’ve had a board meeting 0 times
I’ve done a wedding 0 times
I’ve preached 3 times
I’ve vacationed 0 times
I’ve cooked 354 times

I also had McDonald’s chicken nuggets once, accidentally, and wow… really disgusting.

This pandemic has felt like the year of “no”

No celebrations
No parties
No outreach events
No big gives
No dentist appointments (was kinda OK with this one)
No weddings
No hosting dinners
No sports
No vacations
No planning (I mean, how do you?)
No concerts
No hugs

And the list goes on. But while there are so many noes, there are still enough yeses to sustain us. This is important to remember. I’ve been rather disappointed in some of the Christian community’s reaction to safety mandates—acting as if our rights have been taken away, or, worse, claiming persecution. Puh-leaze.

Maybe we can’t get together in big crowds and spray our saliva everywhere as we sing our favorite Christian concert songs… but, actually, that’s not what being a Christian is about. Not at all.

It’s way less about attending an event and much more about this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your mind… and love your neighbor as yourself.

That’s it.
That’s what being a Christian is. And we have a great big YES on this—even in this pandemic year of noes.

Maybe we can find greater clarity within this COVID restricted existence. Maybe we will remember what matters most. Maybe we will begin to own this thing, our faith, our following in the ways of Jesus. Maybe.

I think it’s possible.

“Have we even begun to be Christians?” —Dorothy Day


I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

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