Definition: Bubble: 1. a thin sphere of liquid enclosing air or another gas. 2. a good or fortunate situation that is isolated from reality or unlikely to last.
It had been nine long months of waiting, every week thinking that it would be safe the next to get together for book club.
Until… one of my friends declared…
“I know what we can do. I will ask my daughter if we can ZOOM, she will organize.”
So there we all were on the screen all at once, saying hi and talking over each other, most of us in the medicare+ age range. My friend’s daughter got quickly off the screen, not wanting to teach the ZOOMing etiquette skills. I’m well acquainted with. I noticed that three of us had muted until we got ready to plow in and get our turn. The meeting was simply to talk about some of the books we had been reading. Many had too many books even to get started talking about. The chit-chat and catching up went on and on. Some of us unwilling to let the cheerful among us even know about our many trials.
Until.. one of my friends naively asked…
“So who is in your bubble?”
Shocked into silence—many of us still wondering what she was even asking. Our bravest talker began.
“Well, as far as Thanksgiving goes, I’m ordering four meals. If my two don’t show up from the city, it will just be more meals for us the next day.”
The question she had walked into was precarious. Some were brave enough to talk about gathering at Thanksgiving, and some of us got sadder and sadder. My son had just canceled our Thanksgiving planned with his family, our daughters’ families, and us. It had been painful; we had waited for this joyous reunion for so many months.
As a family, we decided to sacrifice a bit of what medical people have been doing from the beginning of COVID 19 onward. I didn’t want to start one long and tearful scream, so I kept muted. I thought about a friend who had lost her dad two months earlier; my ninety-five-year-old dad stuck behind a rehab window, my niece who’s brand new twin babies I wouldn’t get to help out with for quite a while. I thought about my other friend whose first grandson had to go to the hospital last week after becoming infected by a cousin in our schools who had COVID 19 and didn’t even know it.
And then I thought of my cozy house, my husband, who has had to put up with tearful me who has needed therapy and also a new therapy kitty for these last nine months. And then I thought about my new seventeen girlfriends who Zoom with me in Bible study, my old friends of ten years who do a less formal Bible study…but pray, and my new neighbor who sends me text encouragement every morning, and my sister. She listens from afar and helps me with anything medical related to my dad and has listened to my heavy sighing for way too long.
Yes, they are my bubble people that I can’t touch.
And then there is the one in the bubble and out of the bubble with me. He is the one who never will leave me. He is inside, wrapping his long arms around me, comforting my soul ache. He is out in the world, making a difference. He hears me when my heart hurts so deeply I have no words.
God heard me when I cried in my car in the pitch darkness in the parking lot of my church, crying over and over again about the state of our country and how terribly divided our churches have become. That night, a calm came floating in a massive bubble, the worship music on my cell phone. I will summarize and change a few words 🙂
I am the Alpha and the Omega, and I am with you in the the middle—nutzo, neurotic, Nancy. I am with you now and at the end. I will never leave you or forsake you. I have given my son that died for your sins—we will always be together!
PS ( because I like them) It is so much better if you can see this group on YouTube. It is very long, and the Alpha and Omega part comes in in the last three-quarters of the song.
PSS Our church had such a dynamic and powerful twist this morning. If you have the time please tune in. If you live in northern Illinois Willow will have a powerful, socially distanced, Christmas Walk…get free tickets and enjoy. Again, if you don’t want music fast forward to Sean… his message is life-changing!