A year ago, I was reflecting on Zechariah 9:12
2020 certainly battered that fortress. At the onset of the global pandemic, I wasn’t sure the walls would hold. The sight of yellow caution tape surrounding playgrounds and picnic tables brought me to tears. Everything about the stay at home orders went against my very nature. Though an introvert, I’m designed to cultivate community. It’s what I crave. Having that abruptly outlawed shook me to the core. There’s something uniquely life-giving in gathering with others.
The caution tape eventually came down in most places, but it’s remained in the fabric of our society. There’s a caution that’s gripped us all. Waiting for my takeout order at the local pizza place on New Year’s Eve, I didn’t know if I should strike up a conversation with the other customer. We stood apart, wearing the necessary masks, but would he feel unsafe if I spoke to him? A new lockdown is in place. Should we be speaking? This is the caution that encases. Pushing past it, I spoke up. Even the gesture of small talk feels like a declaration of hope – a proclamation that our hope of survival depends on connection not distance. More than worrying about the virus, I worry about the fear pulling us away from what we know is essential in humanity. A smile, a conversation over coffee, the embrace of a friend, a meal shared with family from a far – these are the sort of things that make life worthwhile. The longer this drags on, the more we become accustomed to living without.
Despite the shaking all around me, my fortress holds strong. The reports, actions of officials, and conflict is powerful. Like waves, it has the potential to sweep me into a sea of despair. Still the fortress holds and when I shackle myself to hope, I can rest in the God who has never failed me.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.