“Who needs the church?” As pastors we heard that question often, albeit in various forms. And people had many reasons for quitting the church; a trend that seems to have grown during lockdowns. Even now as lockdowns are easing, I’ve read articles declaring in-person meetings unneccessary.
No, I’m not actually wishing to be color blind. (That would be crazy.) My husband really is color blind and it doesn’t seem like much fun. Not dangerous, or risky for health, or anything like that.
Storms and difficulties of all kinds and sizes come our way. From simple gray spells or times of discouragement, to life’s big storms and even pandemics. And they can really start to get us down. A lot of life’s problems are extremely serious, like this COVID-19 that is currently afflicting the world. And it can be really difficult to not worry.
For several years, I kept two homemade placards on our entryway mirror. They read Ebenezer and Jehovah-Jireh. Two powerful words from Scripture, meaning “stone of help” and “Yahweh will provide.” In other words, up to now the Lord has helped us – and he will continue to do so.
We’ve been in and out of lockdown here in Italy more times than I count. And though they’ve varied in severity, they all have several things in common. They’re inconvenient and unpleasant. But even worse, they have been a great theft of our personal freedom and liberty. And from my observations, they haven’t worked.
Things have been, and still are, pretty rough here in Italy through this coronavirus time. And not just because we’ve had such a high rate of cases and deaths. But because in addition to the usual restrictions, like social distancing, masks, gloves, diminished freedom, company closures, and loss of jobs – our restrictions have been extra confining, making life a bit depressing.
As I’m sure nearly everyone knows, we’re going through a strange and most unusual time here in Italy, with the nation under nearly total lockdown. An unprecedented happening for our time and day in a democratic nation. And living through it seems quite surreal.