A Gratitude for Unity

“Behold, how good and how pleasant, it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)

Covid-19 swept over our world, instantly changing our lives. One day our children were at school, the next they were home indefinitely. One Sunday we were at church, the next week we couldn’t gather for worship. Never before in my lifetime had I experienced anything like this pandemic.
At first, it seemed as if we were on a staycation. We were not sick, we just suddenly had nowhere to go. It was amazing! It felt like a much-needed breather from the busyness of life. I could take the time to read to my kids, play a game with them, or bake cookies. I could do all of this without feeling like I was in such a rush. Close quarters did not  increased fighting or strife, rather I felt God’s grace upon our home. We drew closer to each other and appreciated the time spent together. When the world around me was out of my control, I learned to appreciate my home, family, and blessings even more than I had before.
The kids still had to learn, of course, and they struggled to adjust to online school. We were all under one roof more than we had been previously, and some days it was very difficult to have four grades being taught in one home! The children had to learn to respect each other’s space.
I felt more in tune with my kids and what they were learning in school because I was there every day assisting them. I felt responsible to help them keep up on their education. At times, they would become very frustrated and stressed but I was there to encourage and soothe them.
While our unity at home was getting a real work out, so was our unity with our congregation. Church is the very center of our life. The weirdest feeling was not getting up on Sunday and dressing for church.  All the game nights, outreach nights, picnics, everything that normally fills our life was canceled indefinitely, leaving our lives with an odd sense of loss. How many times have we heard the sayings, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” or “You don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone.”
This was certainly the case. While we were away from each other in body, we remained close in spirit. Our pastor never quit carrying a burden for our souls and several members in the congregation helped put together services that were live-streamed. Sunday school teachers prepared lessons that were delivered to the children. Prayers were offered up for each other. Groceries were given to those in need. Cards were mailed to homes as we suddenly valued our communication with each other more than ever.
When we finally all got back to church for services, it was so special. To sing our congregational songs together and lift our voices up to God in praise was a beautiful thing. We don’t take our right to assemble for granted anymore. Hebrews 10:25 reminds us, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
~ C Karns