The Corona Virus is no laughing matter. It’s deadly serious but to wrap ourselves in fear and cave to panic is an emotional and psychological killer. So, why laugh? For one thing,”A merry heart’s good medicine.”(Proverbs 17:23)
This morning’s Boston Globe brought numbing news about the spread of the virus, suspension of all sports, church and school closings, plus lights out for theaters and large gatherings as in”Admit None.” Tough decisions to slow the spread of the virus.
After absorbing all the reality I could handle, I turned to check out tonight’s television options. PBS offered a program on Aging, affording me an opportunity to sit and do just that. Feeling desperate I headed for the comics. In the Bizarro strip by Wayno & Piraro I saw Snow White on the phone saying, “I’ve told you over and over. All seven positions are filled. If anything opens up, we’ll get in touch with you, Pushy.”
Fear does strange things.
Yesterday, in my final sprint to a grocery store for a while, I steered my cart towards the household cleaning aisle where a stranger said, “Don’t forget toilet paper.” Not a smidgen of discomfort between us as he shared something so personal. I’ve stockpiled enough to wrap myself like a mummy with sufficient leftovers to build a small wall. Why? I guess when I couldn’t find Hand Sanitizers or Wipes, I did what I could to prepare for an extended stay indoors.
My neighbor just called to see if I needed anything. She’s that kind of person. I reassured her I was OK, then said, “If you ever need toilet paper, I’ve got plenty.”
Stuff has limits. I prefer stockpiling stories. Henri Nouwen shares one about Michelangelo in the February 7th entry in Harold Myra’s One Year Book of Encouragement.
“A small boy watched as the famous sculptor hammered and chiseled at a block of marble. Pieces fell and flew away but the child had no idea what was happening. Weeks later, the boy returned and was surprised by a large, powerful lion sitting in place where the marble block had stood. Excited, he ran to Michelangelo and asked, ‘Sir, tell me, how did you know there was a lion in the marble?”
God knows there’s more to us than meets the eye.
Once I get untangled from all this toilet paper, I hope to discover a lion, or, hopefully, some marble chips.
After all, there’s more to preparing for tough times than stockpiling stuff.
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