We celebrated two friends’ birthdays this week. They were both distant celebrations — gifts left in the driveway, and a drive-by “party.”
My kids liked loved being a part of these celebrations, but they made the wheels start turning. “I’m glad my birthday is in the summer…” I heard someone say from the backseat on our way home.
“Mom?” Mary asked. “Will we be out of quarantine for Thomas’s birthday?”
I paused. Thomas’s birthday is May 19. I swallowed hard, “I really hope so.”
“Are we going to Psalm’s birthday?” she continued.
“We’ll celebrate Psalm’s birthday. I just don’t know how.”
“Are we going to get to say goodbye to our teachers?” David asked.
“I hope so,” I answered.
“Are we going to have Easter egg hunts?” Mary asked.
“I don’t know,” I answered.
“Will our vacation be canceled?” David asked.
“I don’t know.”
We drove the rest of the way home in silence. Perhaps, I thought, the reality of quarantine was finally sinking in for my kids. So far they’ve mostly just been excited to be out of school.
“Mom?” Mary asked as we pulled into our driveway. “Will the azaleas still bloom?”
I exhaled, releasing a breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding
Yes. The azaleas will still bloom. No matter how long this lasts, we will be safe and we will be together. God’s goodness and faithfulness does not change, and is our refuge in this time of uncertainty.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” – Lamentations 3:22-24
The azaleas will bloom in the spring. These are gifts of common grace in a time of uncertainty and fear; beautiful reminders that God is with us. He is at work, and He is good.