I traveled back to Germany last week. The airports in Seattle and Frankfurt were almost completely empty, I’ve never seen anything like it. I was the only person in line for security checkups and boarded a plane with no more than 60 people. I had room to stretch and watched “The Sound of Music”. It was interesting to see this film about a time of crisis as we are facing the beginning of this health crisis, now. Julie Andrew’s positive portrayal as “Maria” is all the more powerful when you know it wouldn’t have come easily during WW2.
Since last Friday I’ve been living back at my parent’s house. We are, so far, doing well. I did some garden work in the yard and planted seeds and starts. I finished my wall art piece and found an old rake handle to serve as the hanger. I drove up to my school with my dad to pick up some stuff, so I could work from home for the next few weeks. As with the airports, the freeways were empty. But some things stayed the same: The sheep on the meadow next to the student dorm are grazing just as they always have. I find the thought of that slightly comforting :)
Finally, I made little greeting cards for our neighbors. We can’t see each other right now, and I don’t know most of them very well, but we are all affected by Corona. So, I figured a little greeting and some tea and gummy bears would brighten their day. I threw them in the neighbors’ mailboxes on Wednesday and Thursday. I didn’t expect the positive responses that followed. Several people called to thank us for the gesture. One person waved at my dad from across the street. One person wrote a thank-you-card and gave us a potted flower and some fresh herbs. And with one woman, the story was especially interesting: As I was making the cards, I had a strong sense that the woman from house number 10 “absolutely must” get the card with a green-yellow zig-zag-pattern. As a matter of urgency. I didn’t know why, but, I left it there for her. When she called on Friday, she said that this card had moved her to tears. When I asked her why, she said it was because the card was green, and “green is the color of hope”. I had never spoken to this woman. Now I know her name and a little about her life.
You could call this a fun coincidence, fate, or something else. As a Christian, I believe that God gives us his Spirit to show us a kind of “intuition” of what to do. Did God have anything to do with this interaction? We can’t prove it, but I find it interesting. Whatever our faith may be, the woman was right: we all need hope. Especially now. I’m glad she found a little hope the other day, and I wish for you to find hope and share hope as you go through life during this time. Maybe write your neighbors a card, call your parents or put a picture book at the door of a family with little kids. No matter how confusing things get, hold on to hope.