God & Corona Maelstrom

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The Coronavirus Maelstrom. Your life has likely been turned upside down lately. By upside down, I mean hurled about and thrashed on the rocks. We are still gulping for the air of normalcy, and there is little, if any, to be found. We refer to it as the “new normal,” to make it seem normal. I remember watching this tidal wave grow from Wuhan. It gurgled and bubbled, frothing toward nearby towns, then countries. We saw it coming, but that’s very different from actual impact. In the Corona maelstrom, are you wondering, “um, God, did you mean this?” I am.

I don’t believe, of course, that God is punishing us, or wanting us to suffer. As we bobble to the surface, before getting whacked by another wave, what do we see? Clear skies and the hope of our former world reality? Most of the people that I’ve talked with don’t hope for what was. They want what’s coming on the other side of this, which will be new and different. Going backwards rarely seems like a good thing, so we press on, looking for glory in and through the waves of troubles.

What I hear most people seeking is a better, stronger, lighter way of living. We can’t wait to hug our friends again, or host a BBQ party full of laughter. Scanning the empty toilet paper aisles in hopes of finding 24 whole rolls just isn’t anyone’s version of fun. It feels scarce. Scarce is scary. There is a lot of fear, and my friends, family and clients  just want to exhale, and stop being afraid. Fear is like sludge. It takes a lot of energy to just stand up without getting knocked over. Corona fear is a messy, icky, “just get it off of me” kind of situation. Yet here we are.

Hence, the Corona Two-Step:  Step 1: Take the hit. Because it’s here, and pretending it away will only make it worse. Step 2: Consider the unearthed sea shells washing ashore. How many people, worldwide, are praying at any given moment? More than at any other time in our lives. How many of us are recognizing, with a ferocity, the depth of our love for people and life itself? People are turning to laughter for strength and sanity. I’ve never heard, and needed, such brilliantly hilarious jokes. They are like perfect sand dollars and conch shells found on a pink dawn beach. In a world that is feeling kind of grey, I’m leaning on prayers, people, and laughter.

This pandemic is knocking us to our knees, and that’s a good place to pray from. God is associated with heavenly skies, but He is also right here in the blades of grass gathering our tears. As we humbly kneel, in fear, sorrow or giggles, there is no place we can go where God isn’t surrounding us. Even in this maelstrom of a mess, unearthed blessings, like sea shells from the deep, are surfacing.

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by Amanda Sturner

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A good portion of my life has been sleeping under the stars, climbing mountains, and on the best days, jumping into glacier-fed lakes. On the worst day, my student threw her backpack over and cliff and demanded a helicopter exit from dirty dirt. If you make me laugh until my stomach hurts, we may be friends for a long, long time. read more...

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