Distanced Socializing Devotional- 46
Our Wednesday devotional is prepared by Carol Duncan, who is currently President of the United Methodist Women (UMW).
Scripture: Proverbs 31:25-28
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
I realize very few of you ever knew my mother, but she was a most remarkable woman—long before her time as a businesswoman and strong and equal marriage partner and parent. Mom’s way of approaching life and her kernels of wisdom remain glued to me, making me who I am.
As I raised my girls, my mom would say, “Raise them right and they may stray. But, if you raise them right, they will be back.” Truth. When we struggled with one daughter’s choices, Mom said, “Never, ever give up on your child. If you do, you’ll regret it the rest of your life. If you don’t, eventually, it will pay off.” Absolute truth.
But, it was the way she approached her coming death from ALS that has provided me much needed lessons for this pandemic. When my mom was given the news that she had mere months to live, and those would not be good months, she immediately set out to make the best of her remaining life. She walked miles daily and rode her exercise bike to keep her leg muscles strong. She eventually lost the ability to talk and swallow, but she could actually walk a bit until just a week before she died. When she lost the ability to talk, she switched to a talking machine, often having a joke pre-recorded to begin our visits. She had a feeding tube inserted when she could no longer swallow. Whatever ALS threw at Mom, she figured out how to navigate.
I believe that is the message that we all need to learn. We aren’t going to have life “as normal” any longer—or not for the foreseeable future—but we can figure out how to cope with every obstacle that COVID19 has thrown in our path.
P. S. And, one other tidbit from Mom: “It doesn’t matter what your religion, but you need to believe in something to get through the hard places in life.” And, haven’t we all needed our faith and our church and our beliefs to navigate this hard place?
May we all draw from our faith and our shared values to find our way through the pandemic. May we emerge stronger, more confident in ourselves and our beliefs, and more united than ever. Amen