Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Every Moment Holy

A couple of years ago for Christmas, Daughter and SIL gave a book to me I have come to love. It's called "Every Moment Holy" and it's a book of liturgies for everyday life.

It's a great resource for when you need to put a voice to a prayer, but aren't quite sure how.

The author lives in a Nashville suburban community not far from me and I was able to track him down. He was kind enough to schedule a meeting with me so I could write about his book and him. The meeting, of course, had to be changed to a videoconference, but he kept his commitment to meet with me. It was a real treat to get to meet him.

The piece I wrote ran this week and I'm sharing it with you here:

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Notes from isolation: Installment 3

Wife and I have gotten pretty serious about the social distancing thing. We're ordering groceries online and our daily outings generally consist of the walks we take. We'll take an occasional drive, and we'll occasionally pick up food from a place that's preparing takeout. Hopefully our support, and the support of others, will help keep them in business.

Last Sunday we took a drive on the Natchez Trace, a beautiful highway a few miles from us that runs from Nashville all the way to Natchez, MS, and is protected by the Department of Interior, kind of like a national park. There are no billboards and if you need gas, you have to get off.

Anyway, it's a wonderful little gem near us and there are some parks along it where there are some great hiking trails. We took a picnic lunch with us to one of those and enjoyed it there, then took a short hike. Many folks were doing the same thing, but everyone was being careful to keep a safe distance.

I hope our parks don't close after the action our governor took today.

He issued a stay-at-home order today, after he had issued a "safer-at-home" order earlier this week. The safer-at-home order was a strong suggestion, while the stay-at-home order is a genuine order, the violation of which is punishable, I suppose, by jail time. I don't know that they would really haul someone in; I'm guessing if you were found in violation, you'd get a warning and maybe an officer would follow you home.

I don't know because, once again, this is all unprecedented.

And I'm not sure if that means our park trails are going to close. I hope not. We're walking a lot in our neighborhood, but for a change of scenery we'll go to one of the nearby parks that has walking trails.

Apparently the powers-that-be could tell from cell phone data that people weren't staying in as they were supposed to. I don't know how that works but it kind of gives me the creeps because it's rather big brother-ish, don't you think?

Of course, if you work for an "essential" business, you go to work. Since I work for a bank, I'm essential, but I'm back office, so we're at home. But if I wanted to go in to work, apparently I could carry something with me proving I'm a bank employee and I would be OK.

Other essential businesses include, among others, construction businesses, car repair places, grocery and convenience stores employees and places providing curbside or delivery services. I am pleased this includes my favorite craft brewery, and I have been by there a couple of times to show my support and make a purchase.

It's all very bizarre. I can't imagine what online church is going to be like Easter Sunday.

But then again, I haven't been able to imagine a lot of things that are happening right before my eyes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Notes from Isolation: Installment 2

We are well into this thing of isolating and social distancing now.

I'm into the routine of working remotely and have incorporated video chatting into some of my meetings. That means my colleagues get to see the inside of my closet, which is where I office.

Wife suggested moving the video chat location somewhere else, that perhaps she's not ready to be that intimate with my coworkers. Point taken.

We are chatting that way (Face Time) with the family too, and it helps to see our grands. The two little guys don't stay still long enough for a long conversation, but just to see them run around and act like the two-year-olds they are warms our hearts.

And our little angel, our granddaughter, almost five months old? Don't get me started.

Yesterday was perhaps the first day I never left the house and I never even went outside. It rained all day so we missed our walks, and Wife brought in the paper for me.

I must do better than that. I went to bed last night with a little heaviness in my heart, and I think that's part of it. Fresh air does the body good and I have to make sure I'm getting plenty.

I've never denied I'm an introvert, but I miss people. I miss nuzzling into the necks of my grandsons and giving my sweet daughter and daughter-in-law hugs. I miss cooing at my granddaughter. I miss my boys hitting me on the shoulder.

I miss seeing my friends and my work colleagues.

And I'll never again take for granted the privilege of those relationships.


One of our pastors is texting us daily devotionals apropos to the season in which we are living. Every one ends challenging us to find something we're thankful for. That's a good exercise and I have plenty.


I'm not going to get into the politics of all of this here, but I am skeptical of the country being "back open" by Easter, as President Trump said yesterday.

What an opportunity this was for him to be presidential and to be the kind of leader we need. I'm no psychologist, but I think there is something way down inside of him that simply can't help lashing out at anyone who dares to question him.

Yes, those reporters in the briefing room ask some silly questions. But all he has to do is give a brief answer and move on. He doesn't have to make personal attacks.

But there I go. I said I wasn't going to go political on you.


It's the start of the day and I need to think of what I'm thankful for. I'm thankful to have Wife to live through this with me, and I'm thankful we keep each other balanced. She'll talk me off the ledge, then I'll talk her off. Blessedly, we have not yet found ourselves on that ledge together.

But if we do, we know the one to talk us both down.