Italy’s streets and piazzas are usually full of people, even in the evenings. But with the lockdown all that has changed. A ghostly calm and quiet has settled on the strangely unpeopled streets and towns. Except for the car driving daily through town telling us to stay inside. That final eerie touch makes it seem like war times. Causing us to wonder – and hope – if it’s all just a bad dream.
In the midst of this, I decided to share what it’s like. It has made life harder. We can’t do a lot of our normal things – even go for walks. It takes Hubby an hour’s wait just to get into the supermarket. Plus he’s off work without pay, for who knows how long.
It’s all strange and somewhat unnerving. But what I’ve found most challenging of all is not being able to go to church. We have church via streaming or Zoom, but it’s just not the same.
Yet, I have felt strongly that it’s important to not focus on all the negatives. It’s so easy to do. But that opens a door for fear, doubt, anxiety, and even depression to creep in. Even in times such as these – or perhaps especially in such times – we need to keep counting our blessings!
What lockdown is teaching me
To count my blessings
Rather than focusing on what you don’t have – realize how much you do have!
I’m grateful that upon seeing they were locking down northern Italy, we felt impressed to do some big shoppings at our discount supermarket. Good thing we did, as we can not leave town now to go there. We’re well stocked, and only need to go out for fresh items.
At the time, stocking up felt almost foolish. Perhaps we were over-reacting. But our town’s small shops are pricey. So we figured even if nothing happened here, we would at least save money. And we did!
It helps, too, that here we have our own bread man. About 10AM each day, he stops out on the road, blowing his horn, and we can all go out and buy nice fresh bread, usually still hot! Of course, in these days, we’re careful to maintain distance.
To cherish fellowship
We’re learning how difficult and lonely social isolation can be. God has created us as social beings. We need the communion of others, and to share our thoughts, hearts, and feelings. But isn’t it great that it’s not strictly necessary to sit in the same room for that to happen?
These days we have so many ways to communicate. So take advantage of phone calls, chats, video conferences, and even plain, old-fashoned snail mail!
To appreciate and use the extra time
Rather than letting boredom creep in, use this time to do new things. Learn a new skill or start a new hobby. Read those books you’ve been wanting to get to.
And learn to appreciate the blessings of solitude, silence, and stillness. They are so important for our mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Sometimes we need to just slow down and unplug. In order to plug in to all that’s lasting and meaningful in this life. Lockdown can offer that possibility.
For the most part this lockdown has not changed things much for a reserved homebody like me. My husband works most weekday afternoons and evenings. So with no car or driver’s license I already spent a lot of time alone.
Alone, yet never alone, for God is always with me. As a Christian, I’m grateful that no laws, locks, barriers, or circumstances can ever keep God out. His presence, especially during this time, is very real in my life. And a great consolation.
You may be alone (or feel alone) during this strange time in history. You may feel scared and worried. But I can assure you that if you open your heart to Christ you need never be completely alone again. He has given his promise on that, and he always keeps his promises.
I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you.Hebrews 13:5 WEB