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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

We Can Always Make the Bed During a Pandemic

It’s a pandemic. The world is a question mark. And all I can think to do is make my daughter’s bed.

I throw Brooklyn’s white sheet into the air and let the fresh linen catch me like a parachute. Sure, I really know I could let her do it. She’s old enough. Capable. But today it’s a privilege, because when the day feels undone—I can at least make a bed. 

Do you ever overindulge your children? Most of us have overdone it at some point or another. Now my daughter’s home from college and I recognize the wear and tear of life in her eyes. She’s been student teaching second graders for weeks now. And there’s simply never been a time I’ve spent eight hours upon eight hours with a room busting of seven-year-olds. So, will she thank me when she slides into tucked sheets after hard days of “Ms. Duewel, you smell like summer and I feel like I’m gonna puke. Can you hold my hand?”? I do not know.

Although, I think it’s true that, as our babies grow, we propel the tenacity to try and fix all the puking in this world. Make ALL the beds. And we don’t have time to get into the whole enable vs. empower battle today. Doesn’t that go out the door during a pandemic, or when the whole world seems like it’s stuck in a huge wad of wrinkles?

Just take it from a Mom who’s learned how to tuck in the sloppy corners of an “I didn’t see that one coming” day. Smooth out the wrinkles when you can, love someone more than they expect, and make someone’s day brighter. Metaphorically speaking, we can celebrate when the pillows land anywhere close to the top. Praise when a person falls into bed knowing how deeply they’re over-loved by God, truly that is where the good sleep lies.

And Jesus demonstrates this type of indulgent love with His children. We see in Scripture that Jesus was on the mountainside with His disciples when,

“…the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.  Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number” (John 6:4-10 ESV).

What kind of extra love is this? Not only did Jesus feed the people, He offered more for their weary souls.

"Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’ Now there was much grass in the place” (vs. 10).

Much grass in the place.

This solitary hope can change us. Catch us like a parachute even. When we consider how much love we have to give, we can remember the grass. Honestly, I don’t want to forget the tremendous effort life takes for most people right now. Or how much stress can rob from our REM. Because it’s not about making a bed, or God fixing global suffering. Although He can. But today feels a little more like God is giving us an opportunity to sit and settle in with Him while He loves much through us. We can let our love lift others as God shows us the great mercy He’s made of.

“…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

What a generous, thoughtful, more-love-to-give God we serve. Whether it’s a gesture toward our children, or warm blankets for the sick, this boundless love of Christ outlined in Ephesians is our example. When we feel at a loss to do anything—be encouraged, there is strength to do a small something. We can love. We can indulge others knowing that, no act of kindness is too small, and no gesture is too big. No bed is even too messy—we can make the bed.

Copyright © March 2020 Beth Duewel, used with permission.

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