Out for an evening walk, the silence is profound. Cool, clear weather perfect. A soft orange glow filters over rooftops, through still bare tree branches as day’s end nears.

The quiet, and beauty are gifts to my soul in these troubling days.

I look down and see brown leaves fallen from live oak trees getting their spring wardrobe. The urge to crunch them seems childlike. but I give in . . . and smile!

Up and down the street, front doors are closed. No children at play. No one in their yards. No barking dogs. No traffic. No birds chirping. No annoying noises from crickets or katydids. All is silent.

I. Am. Alone.

How many millions in our world are feeling the same?

But are we alone? Aren’t we somehow more connected to the rest of humanity as never before seen in this lifetime? Isn’t it times of greatest need that make us yearn to know God is real, and near?

Isn’t it in the stillness that God speaks most freely? God draws near, comforts, brings peace and hope? Perhaps in silence, we hear God asks us to come after Him . . .

Deny myself, lay down my life for others. Put their needs first. Care for my family. Take time to check on my neighbors and friends. Check on those in our church family who are under my care.

Take up my cross . . . whatever that is this day? Please remember that the crosses our medical professionals are taking up are enormous, and please pray for them.

Follow Him . . .  does that look different in these days? Should it?

Shouldn’t we live always with our eyes on Jesus. Emulating His responses to others. Loving fully. Forgiving always. Building trust in relationships to the point we can speak freely of the love of Christ.

Living not in fear, but in confident hope that God is not absent. God is not unaware of the cries of the desperate. Not unable to stop this dread disease. And in the meantime, asking us to take care of one another.

In the Garden of Eden, after Resurrection of Jesus, always God’s charge to humanity is to love Him with abandon. To love others. Take care of all people. Take care of the earth and all the creatures that dwell therein.

In the universe, we’re given resources that sustain life. On earth, ecosystems abound to provide for all our needs.

In love, humanity was created. In grace, redemption and restoration made possible.

In the Lord, we have hope. As reflectors of the Lord, we have potential to hold out hope over those who have no hope. We have ability to be present with others who are struggling, especially with our many technology driven formats.

This virus rages on but we are NOT alone . . . we are in this together.

Today my house and my heart are quiet. The sun is shining brightly outside my windows. No matter what comes, I am at peace. And I pray you are as well.