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  • Katie Smith

COVID GIVES - part 2

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

When a child gives you a weed and calls it a flower, no right-minded person gives back a disgusted look and demands a larger, nicer bouquet of "real" flowers. No, instead, we see the gift. We see the child's real intentions. LOVE through weeds.

COVID, for me, was a beautiful flower disguised as a dirty weed. I have been given some weeds in the past that I discovered (overtime) were actually quite gorgeous blossoms, so I've had a little practice in vision alterations. However, none of those past weeds had affected my day-to-day lifestyle as much as the COVID flower.

COVID was a weed I needed to keep my vision as clear as a young child's. Isn't that what the entire world needs right now--to uncomplicate, undivide, and untangle the web of opinions and personas out there? Children tell it like it is with simple assurance. The AT&T "It's Not Complicated" commercials from 2013 are my favorite example:

Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. (Mark 10:15)

Children have always posed as the perfect tightrope in our lives. They are equally as exhausting as they are exhilarating. They are God's oil poured over our heads to protect us from pesky flies or lies. The oil makes a huge mess and disruption, but it also soothes and protects in its own perfect way. Then, adults can remain untouched by the harsh elements of a childless world.

COVID gave me newborn gifts like meekness, calmness, and slowness of speech--gifts that may look like weeds at first glance, but a closer look proves their beauty and legitimacy. I thought my pace of life had been improved from my boys' various medical issues, but it took my own hospital stint to continue my lasik development.

Food, drink, exercise, travel, laughter, nature, family, friends: all beautiful gifts meant to be enjoyed, but a fast from everything due to intense illness gave me back my "first love." I feel like I have new eyes and ears.

Ears that hear and eyes that see—

the Lord has made them both. (Proverbs 20:12)

But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. (Matthew 13:16)

In the same way that I have a nose and mouth, but have not been able to smell and taste acutely due to this weed, a person can also have eyes and ears but be figuratively blind and deaf. COVID came in with vengeance, shutting down our world during the infamous "lockdown," but the corresponding changes, for many, were short-lived. Thus, some "needed" variants arrived.

Similar to Job, when our own physicality is affected, we are left to grapple with God himself. The thorn for Paul, the hip for Jacob, and the skin for Job: our trials by fire and infirmity force us to come face to face with our Creator (rather than settle for uncertainty), and Lord-willing we gain a newness in this life that gives perfect clarity for the future.

Like an undeveloped photograph in a darkroom, you don't want to stop in the middle of the process and lose the picture altogether. Dark, blurry, unclear and unfocused, you'll remain fuzzy, and opening the door to the sun too soon will just ruin all your work. However, if you keep going through the long process, you don't have to question where you pointed that old camera in the first place.

Unfortunately, we have created such confidence in ourselves by using instant smartphone photography that we have forgotten how to work through slow processes that require patience. Moreover, since we can adjust and alter our images (hiding anything we dislike about ourselves), lengthy processes are now prematurely exited or entirely bypassed. As such we are fearful, fake adults who scoff at a child's weed.

There were many days I wished I was done with the process of COVID, but it has been this lengthy experience that's provided me with a clear and reliable picture. Some things I needed to change, and other things the world had incorrectly changed for me. Truth will set you free from fear and anxiety.

Thank you COVID for giving me a greater appreciation of what is growing around me. The world may shake it's head at my weeds, but I know the truth of their innocent beauty. As time heals my wounds, I pray it doesn't over-correct my vision, which is ripe and ready to see right now. Thank you COVID for Child-like, uncomplicated clarity.

~Carefully Careless Uncomplicated

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