In a matter of days, everything has changed. We are sheltering at home in California. We are trying to do church in new ways (thank you, Zoom and Facebook).
One big challenge for me right now is that there is no way to know when all of this will end. When will we be able to go to church again? When will we be able to invite friends over for dinner and share a hug? When will our preschool be able to open again? These days stuck inside feel endless, and I feel hopeless.
When I was young, I loved Christmas. Every year I would make a paper chain to count down the days until Christmas – sometimes starting with 50 days to go. I would tape the red and green links above my bed and every day I would rip one off, watching the chain get smaller as we inched toward Christmas morning.
I’ve been wishing that I could make a count-down chain now for this new situation.
But the problem is, we don’t know when this will end.
So I decided to make a quarantine count-up chain instead.
Every night at dinner (we’ve done it for three days so far), David and I take a strip of paper and write the date on one side. On the other side we write a few words or sentences about where we saw God today. You could write down one gratitude from your day, or one moment when you could sense God’s presence near you. A moment of hope.
You could talk with your family at the dinner table – have your kids think of times in the day when they saw God moving. Where did they see love today? Have kids who are too young to write color on the strips.
Then we have George color on the strip of paper and we add it to our count-up chain, which hangs by our dinner table.
I’m trying to change my mindset – since I don’t know how long this will last, I can’t count down.
So now I’m slowly making a count-up chain which, when all of this is over, I will be able to look back on and physically see how God was present in all of this chaos and fear.
If you make your own quarantine count-up chain, take a picture of it and send it to me! I’d love to see how you’re marking the days.