Front Porch Stories: Finding Grace amongst the virus
By Kathy Bohannon, Special to The Shopper
I had surgery on March 16. My doctor called on the evening before I was scheduled to go in. He gave me the option to cancel due to the coronavirus. There were many reasons I went ahead with it, including the fact that I’d done all the things for pre-op. I didn’t want to deal with the insurance issues if I elected to cancel.
Recovery and quarantine are still ongoing, but there are many bright spots.
I’ve spent time with my sisters in Christ. We are meeting for Bible studies online via Zoom. Besides church services, Zoom is also the site where my pastor hosts an informal gathering each week. We connect with one another and share our lives. I look forward to it, not only to learn of prayer needs of others, but also to “meet” my church family in this spontaneous and comfortable atmosphere. It would otherwise take years of gathering in person in the brief moments before or after church services to get to know one another as deeply.
Since I’m an avid crafter, I’ve missed meeting with “my girls” at our favorite restaurant. We have a standing date at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and gather with whatever needlework we have going. Whether knitting, crochet, hand sewing or other creative outlets, we chat, pray together, laugh and even shed a tear or two. I’m blessed to have these women in my life.
Last Saturday was our first face-to-face meeting since the quarantine. I was not able to leave my home so they came to me. We sat on my porch with a healthy distance between us, masks on, and picked up where we left off weeks ago. We didn’t stich a single thing, but we knit ourselves together with laughter and stories of coping with the isolation.
Many have suffered terribly during the coronavirus outbreak. The after effects will last for years in the lives of those who have lost family members, businesses and income. Our children are grown, our parents are gone. We are retired. If this had happened when we were young parents with a mortgage and car payments we would be destitute by now. My heart grieves for those who are suffering from this virus. I’m thankful for the heroes who stood in the gap and worked throughout; doctors, nurses, grocery clerks, police and fire, the list goes on. Thank you for being there when you were needed.
I stopped watching the news even before the virus hit. I’ve been trying to keep my mind healthy and not expose myself to the exercises of sifting out what may or may not be “fake news.” We also have a grandchild who has been fighting cancer her entire life. She is five now. I’m very adept at keeping my heart and mind as healthy as possible; having learned that once I start crying it’s difficult to stop.
Therefore, in trying to stay mentally healthy, this lengthy recovery from surgery-plus-quarantine has created a renewed interest and appreciation for nature as I walk our property each day. It has presented a serendipitous opportunity to get to know my church family better. It has allowed me to enjoy something as simple as having my door open, listening to the birds chirp every morning. It’s a new beginning of a different life. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” I trust Him in this.
Kathy Bohannon is a Christian humorist and inspirational speaker. Kathy shares her love of crafting on Facebook and on YouTube at Kathy Bohannon Creatively Blessed. She and her husband John live in west Newnan. She can be reached at [email protected].