Picking up Pennies

So here I am, here we all are, in the midst of a pandemic. These are unusual times. I feel it. As I go about my day, doing the mundane tasks of laundry and lunches, I feel it. It feels different, everything feels different. And it isn’t just that the kids are home when they would normally be in school, or that I grocery shop for 2 weeks rather than 2 days, or that we don’t leave the house for gatherings with friends, or that the wide world of sports has come to a screeching halt. Yes, all of these things feel different, but there is something more. There is an unsettling, an uneasiness, that seeps into my very soul. Sometimes I feel it more strongly than others, but it’s always lingering there. I think it is the uncertainty. There is just so much unknown. Like I said, these are unusual times. But, when I really look at the beast of uncertainty, I recognize it. Because even though it seems so large and ominous right now, it has been there all along. I have faced it before and I’m not the only one.

On any given day, of any given week, there are husbands that kiss wives good bye for the last time, there are mothers who send children off to school for the last time. We have faced it in unforeseen illness and accidents. So yes, I have faced uncertainty before, we all have, and it’s always there, so why does it feel so large, so strong, in these times? It seems to me that our current circumstances have pulled off the blanket of false security with which I am usually covered. You know the one, the perception of control. And now, in the midst of this pandemic, I recognize it. I recognize it fully. I see it completely, no blanket hiding it or hiding me. I am now completely exposed to the full force of uncertainty with numbers and news changing daily. I have no idea how many people will be infected and how fast. I have no idea what the consequences will be personally, locally or globally. Experts keep trying to predict, but there are too many moving parts, too many variables. The simple truth is that only time will tell and we just have to wait.

I am not very good at waiting. I am used to fast service and next day delivery, instant messaging and Netflix. This is the society in which we live. It’s fast and it’s convenient, but now I have to wait. I waited for the news of first cases in our country, then our state, then our community. I waited for closures, cancellations and new mandates. The waiting has just begun. I will keep waiting until we get the first signs that we have seen the peak and then the fall (I hope), but I just don’t know when that news will come. So as I find myself face to face with this beast of uncertainty, no longer shielded by my blanket of false security (you know the one, the perception of control), I am picking up pennies. I am not picking up pennies for any financial purpose or gain, but as a reminder. Inscribed on every penny, are four little words, “In God We Trust.” These are words I can cling to, because in these uncertain times (and all the times before), God is in control. So, in the midst of all this uncertainty, I’m picking up pennies.

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