by Linda Farris
This article is from a dear friend and fine Christian woman, Linda Farris. She, her husband Garland, and sweet son Jeff attend with us at the Eastern Shore church of Christ. She is a wonderful wife, mother of three, grandmother, and dear friend to all who know her. I am happy to present her article here.
While preparing to go to worship this morning, I was mentally making a list of the things I have learned from the terrible pandemic caused by Covid-19. There really have been blessings, mixed in with the fears and the sorrows, brought on by this unexpected, unimagined plague.
The thought of appreciating having God as our refuge came to my mind, then my challenge of staying focused kicked in. Remembering the time, while living in Kentucky, Jeff and I were stranded in our home by a terrible ice storm. We were without power, heat, hot food, lights, hot water, cell and phone service. We got through three days by staying in his room with a small transistor radio someone had given him. I had slipped out occasionally to walk our dog, try to get the one set of gas logs to burn, and check on the damage. (There was a lot!) Not knowing the cell tower had fallen into the Cumberland River, most of my time was spent trying to contact my family, out of state, to let them know of our predicament. This was a situation where neighbors could not help neighbors and we had not seen or heard from anyone since the storm began.
Finally, after hearing on the little radio the temperature was going to be 15 degrees that night, I knew I had to get us out of there to somewhere not covered with ice and snow. Climbing on our car to unlock the garage door, I managed to raise it manually. Then making sure Jeff’s stairlift was working I had to trust the battery to get him to the basement and into the car with our dog, Tex. When all that was done, while holding my breath and praying, we dodged trees and limbs in the driveway and down the steep hill. Some men from the neighborhood were just beginning to clear the road with chain saws and muscle. The town was completely deserted, no gas, no Walmart, no restaurants, nothing happening, it was a ghost town. As we passed the veterinarian’s office his truck was parked outside, so I stopped to see if he had generators, and could keep our beloved pet. He was happy to assist us, and we were on our way.
The trip to the Tennessee border was an adventure in itself but when we made it that far, the cell service was restored and our family was notified that we were on our way to our daughter’s house in Murfreesboro. Darkness had fallen when we finally arrived, exhausted and hungry, and so thankful to have made it. Once we were in the house our son-in-law’s greeting was, “Welcome, refugees.” Why did that offend me that night? Of course, he was trying to show understanding and compassion, however, I didn’t want to be looked at as a refugee “a person who flees for refuge or safety”.
We are all refugees when we do not seek refuge in the love of God. Where else can we turn? He has offered “shelter in the time of storm” to all who believe and obey Him, accepting His gift of forgiveness.
Yes, this is a difficult time but we are still blessed beyond measure by a loving God. He is our refuge now and always.
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