A tree, stuck by lightning a few years ago, fell into our fence. It’s not a fancy fence; it’s just a plain corral fence, or as they call them here, a ranch rail. It’s been repaired too many times, and finally last week I tore the damaged section out. I stretched some old wire fencing along the opening to keep the dogs inside until I build another. Some day.
Driving to the dump with the old boards and posts and a bunch of other junk was like any ordinary Monday mid-day. Traffic on the roads, people shopping, fast-food drive throughs with plenty of cars waiting in line. No restaurants had cars parked in front, though. Statewide closures, while I suppose not mandatory in our mostly rural county, are being followed.
In the afternoon my wife and I sat on the deck watching the pollen fall like snow, taking stock of a couple trees that will need to be cut down, after suffering from lightning strikes and finally dying, and we enjoyed rum and coke, and for me a cigar. A bluebird is building a nest, and we watched her go back and forth to the bluebird box with scraps of this and that. Cardinals and nuthatches flew around. No squirrels, however. One of our dogs eats them when the come near; the word got around.
It’s rather surreal, really.
Checking the news from my cell phone, I saw that Navy hospital ships are arriving in big cities. New York’s Central Park has tent hospitals set up. Hospitals in Atlanta are at capacity, with no end in sight.
Rather dismaying—Christians, according to an opinion piece in the New York Times, are to blame for impeding the efforts to contain SARS-CV2, the corona virus causing COVID-19. The author also says Christians are spreading the virus.
I checked out some webcams of highways and interstates around Atlanta. They should usually be congested, but were quite barren. Life seeming to come to a halt.
I thought about all the sci-fi books I’ve read, and the ones that dealt with the end of the world—the “apocalypse.” In most of the stories the world seems to go out with a bang. If this is the end, it’s going out with a whimper (which is exactly how one sci-fi author put it in his novel).
The conspiracy theorists are having a field day. The survivalists, called preppers these days, are feeling somewhat vindicated and a lot less eccentric—which probably means they didn’t rush to buy the last of the toilet paper. (seriously, the end of the world and there’s a rush to get toilet paper. Why’s that? Oh, right, CNN said to buy toilet paper, paper towel, and water.)
But my wife and I aren’t being cavalier about it all, even if life in our county seems to be going on as normal. We’re taking extra precautions, we wipe surfaces with cleaner, stay at home, take our vitamins, and stay away from people. After all, we’re at the same age as the average age of those who’ve died in Georgia. We’ve not shopped now for three weeks, and finally put in an order online from a local grocery store. We’ve reserved a time to pick up the groceries. We don’t need to go into the store, just park in a designated space and call; the groceries will be brought out to us, put into the bed of the truck, and we can head out with no contact. We’ll cleanse things at home, too. Is it necessary? I don’t know. We’ll do what we can do; we’ll trust G-d for all we can’t do.
A suggestion for short Bible study:
Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.
From Barnes’s Notes:
“Who is among you that feareth the Lord? – This whole prophecy is concluded with an address made in this verse to the friends of God, and in the next to his enemies. It is the language of the Messiah, calling on the one class to put their trust in Yahweh, and threatening the other with displeasure and wrath. The exhortation in this verse is made in view of what is said in the previous verses. It is the entreaty of the Redeemer to all who love and fear God, and who may be placed in circumstances of trial and darkness as he was. to imitate his example, and not to rely on their own power, but to put their trust in the arm of Yahweh. he had done this Isaiah 50:7-9. He had been afflicted, persecuted, forsaken, by people Isaiah 50:6, and he had at that time confided in God and committed his cause to him; and he had never left or forsaken him. Encouraged by his example, he exhorts all others to cast themselves on the care of him who would defend a righteous cause.
That feareth the Lord – Who are worshippers of Yahweh.
“That obeyeth the voice of his servant – The Messiah (see the note at Isaiah 42:1). This is another characteristic of piety. They who fear the Lord will also obey the voice of the Redeemer John 5:23.
“That walketh in darkness – In a manner similar to the Messiah Isaiah 50:6. God’s true people experience afflictions like others, and have often trials especially their own. They are sometimes in deep darkness of mind, and see no light. Comfort has forsaken them, and their days and nights are passed in gloom.
“Let him trust in the name of the Lord – The Messiah had done this Isaiah 50:8-9, and he exhorts all others to do it. Doing this they would obtain divine assistance, and would find that he would never leave nor forsake them.
“And stay upon his God – Lean upon him, as one does on a staff or other support. This may be regarded still as the language of the merciful Redeemer, appealing to his own example, and entreating all who are in like circumstances, to put their trust in God.”