By Linda Santavicca
Outside Looking In – Inside Looking Out
“Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him.” Lamentations 3:28
Not more than two months ago, we were on the outside looking in. Now, we are on the inside looking out. COVID-19 brought the world to a sudden standstill. No alarm, newsflash, or a screaming siren warned us of a global shutdown. We had no inkling. But, God did. Not even healthcare professionals, biochemists, researchers, or scientists could make sense of the rapid spread. But, God did. We’ve heard it all. The government, news, and airwaves have inundated us with so much information, we were and are left in the dark. But God, who is not in the dark, knows. He knows we are insulated from the world, our families, and friends. And, He knows our routines have been thrown off-kilter. Sequestered indoors over the course of two months has birthed us a “new norm.” Globally.
On a personal note, the disparity between how my time was spent pre-COVID, to how I use my time now is telling. We are creatures of habit. Life outside confirmed for me, we are a ‘people’ who thrive on doing. Even while sheltered indoors, we were prompted to tackle what we’ve long neglected. Like most family and friends, my husband and I have cleaned, purged, and organized the house from top to bottom. And, given our age (considered vulnerable), we rarely stepped outside. Thus, Amazon became our “go-to.” We pulled out a jigsaw puzzle (that is still lying on the dining room table in 1,000 different pieces). As we scrolled through Facebook, we found seven ways to make a face mask. “Instagram feeds” entertained us with live music from renowned musicians as well as new artists in-the-making. We discovered that binge-watching movies, sitcoms and late-night TV aligns well with “eating non-stop.” For social networking, we facetimed, zoomed, and texted. I tried new Pinterest recipes until I realized the dishwasher was running more than me. I found that reading, playing piano, and writing to be great activities as long as my short attention span endured.
However, no matter what keeps us occupied, nothing compares to the time spent with God. Not only does God know we’re on lockdown but I tend to believe He is OK with it. Time in His beloved Word has strengthened my faith. And, thanks to Zoom, our small group is still on. Yet, above all, our hearts have changed. During lockdown, we assessed our priorities and realized that we have all that we need. God. He protects and provides. Although our freedom has been compromised, we are free in Christ. And, because our busy lives have been short-circuited, He wants us even more. We may be isolated from the outside, but we are not alone. In this time of uncertainty, we are told to stay safe. Yet, we are also called to stay still (Psalm 46:10). In the “still” is precious time and in that precious time, He beckons us in. The world may be dark but when we stay still and allow Him in, a light so bright pierces through a hole the size of a pinhead and douses out the dark. In the “still” is the light. And the light is Him. Inside looking out.