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When I Look to the Face of My Father

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

As I crossed the parking lot into the hospital on that Sunday to visit my dad, the sun warmed my skin, and peace filled my heart. Our prayers had been answered. He had received positive news from the testing and would be able to return home later that day. The hospital staff at the entrance were screening visitors regarding recent travel and symptoms of a fever or cough. I had no idea that it was a foreshadowing of all that was yet to come. Just two weeks later, hospital visitation for a loved one would be off-limits. There was no way of knowing that the world would soon be plagued by a pandemic that would spread across all corners of the globe; that fear was lying in wait, ready to tug at our hearts; that all the shelves in the stores would regularly be nearly empty.

Now, here we are. All normalcy has been suspended for the weeks ahead, and our lives have seemingly been placed on pause. Churches, school buildings and local businesses sit empty. The heavy flow of traffic on my street has slowed to the number of cars that are easily counted. All events on the calendar have been canceled as we are asked to stay home, minimizing the spread of the virus in order to stay safe.

My three-year-old daughter is oblivious to all of this. She doesn’t realize the crisis that we have been facing in the past few weeks; about the challenges we have been handed, and are expected to navigate. Her most basic needs are still being met. She is surrounded by the people who love her and make her feel safe. We go through our days that incorporate the new routines of preparing and eating meals, distance learning for her brothers, and her usual playtime and reading books. Unaffected, she looks to my face and sees the love there, and has no reason to fear.

This is my first time living through a pandemic. This is not my first experience with life taking a turn, catching me off guard, and giving me whiplash from the impact. I’ve walked through moments of darkness that seem as though all light and hope have dissipated for a time. I've wrestled with the anxiety that comes from financial instability and doubting provision; of health concerns and all the unknowns that lurk in circumstances beyond my control. 

The weeks of the Season of Lent that lead up to Resurrection Sunday, are still fresh in my memory in this year of COVID-19 . Easter morning looked very different for me, and there was a bit of a lament that came with it. There was no scrambling to get ready and make it to church on time