April 07, 2020 | Stories by Dottie Henry
Acts 14:17 - "Yet He has not left Himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy."
For 2 years, 13-year-old Anne Frank and her family lived in confinement, quarantined from life due to the spread of a deadly ideology. Hidden in a secret attic above her father’s business, the family lived in constant fear of being exposed. Yet even in the midst of her social isolation, Anne found hope in the natural world, a world she could no longer personally enjoy. In her diary (see her book, The Diary of Anne Frank) she wrote:
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature, and God. For then and only then can you feel that everything is as it should be and that God wants people to be happy amid nature's beauty and simplicity...I firmly believe that nature can bring comfort to all who suffer.
Even before the onset of COVID-19, most of us lived the majority of our waking moments detached from the natural world, choosing instead to lead a life of self-inflicted incarceration, enslaved by the very technology and screens promising so much freedom.
There is a rich life waiting for us out there, free from phones and pixels, radiating the grandeur of God. Even now, in the midst of so much suffering, the world is being reborn. The darkness is fading, the light is winning. Buds are appearing on what looked like lifeless trees, tender shoots of grass are emerging from the cold sod, birds have returned and are nesting. It’s as if God’s good creation is gently whispering, “We have hope, so should you.” And if we just go out into it (locally, of course!), we may not only hear creation proclaiming the glory of God, but we just might find relief, respite, communion, and rejuvenation in this time of mutual isolation.