Faith sustained through the isolation
I sat alone in the darkened room of my isolation, wondering how the day would unfold. After many weeks of the same, never-changing schedule of solitary events, I still held close to my expectations. They were the expectations of cheer, of something, or anything to reduce the doldrums of my current life. I reminded myself that it was faith, a faith in God and a faith in humanity that had carried me through thus far. As I threw my feet out of bed and pushed my tootsies into the furry slippers on the floor, I knew the same sentiment would continue.
Making my way to the coffee pot was the way my day always started. I eyed the dwindling supply of coffee grounds and a faint flurry of worry touched my heart. I drew in a deep breath chastising myself, for my faltering faith. I allowed the momentary lapse because coffee is my one true passion. Having learned the art of conservation through the lean years, I carefully added one and a half scoops to the grounds from the previous day. It would be a weak brew but would fulfill my needs. I popped a single slice of bread into the toaster and waited for it to char to the golden shade of the wheat it once was in the wavering fields of Kansas. I scraped at the sides of the jelly jar to retrieve a dab of purple delight to my toast. Such simple goodness gave me pleasure.
I donned my robe, gloves, and mask, moving towards the front porch to grab the daily paper. On this bright and sunny Sunday, I was thankful that deliveries were still being made. The front page news was always frightful but the crossword puzzle and the comics brightened my days. I turned on the television as I passed the square box of tubes and wires. The noise of the voices, any voice, soothed me and lessened the loneliness of quarantine. I pulled my chair up to the table and dined on my sweet toast and sipped at the invigorating brew while reading my paper. It was just as every other morning had been but the sun was a little warmer and the birds that tweeted by the window seemed cheerier in their song.
After breakfast, I made a list of my grocery needs. Coffee topped the list, but included milk, bread, jelly, and toilet paper. I checked my funds and assured myself that the items were within the budget. I smiled as I dialed the rotary phone, a remnant of another era, I had refused to replace. I believed the simple fixture spoke of who I was and where I came from, but the grand-kids teased me about it being obsolete. I wished once again that they didn't live so far away for I could take a bit of teasing these days. I placed my order and was assured of delivery in the afternoon. It was the same young man that always answered the phone with a courteous and exuberant voice. He wished me well and reminded me to stay safe. Having never seen his face, I began to count him as a friend within the trying days of my confinement.
As I continued to read my paper, I noted an announcement in the corner of the lifestyle page about local churches streaming the masses. It contained a list of the channels carrying the masses. Suddenly, my day was much brighter, for there among the listed churches providing access was my congregation. I could feel the wetness roll down my cheeks at my excitement. I tuned in the proper channel and eagerly awaited the broadcast.
I hadn't realized how badly I had missed going to church. I had been diligent in my prayer and rosary but it was the faces of the people I had come to love that I missed. It was the ornate beauty of our church that called to me. It was the gentle raising of voice in praise and song that I longed to hear. I was giddy in my excitement. God must have known I needed a bolstering of my spirits.
The picture on the screen was crisp and clear. It was just as I remembered, with the inspiring altar and chiseled statues of faith. The colorful stained glass windows graced by the sunlight cast mesmerizing shadows of hope. The lumbered pews, now void of believers, still welcomed with their warm and honey colored hue. As the solitary figure entered the sanctuary in his priestly garments, I couldn't help but feel the awe and serenity of the moment. One familiar voice rang out from the choir loft leading those of us at home in psalms of our praise. It was a somber but joyful expression of unity for a flock temporarily misplaced. From the comfort of my couch, I lifted my voice up in song and joined the choir in hymn. I no longer felt I was alone and my solitary mindset upon rising that morning, had dissipated. As the priest spoke with his soft and calming tone, I was filled with hope by his message. Listening to the scriptures renewed my soul. All at once, I was thankful for the gift of the technology that allowed me to witness the beautiful scene in front of me. I am reminded once again, that simple goodness gives me pleasure and that God is very good at listening to our needs.
When the service concluded, I felt the desire to do something for others. I pulled out my sewing machine and dusted off the cobwebs. I began sewing fabric masks to donate to the hospitals. By the afternoon, I had finished fifty colorful cotton shields. I began to plan and shape gowns to make as well. I had stored miles of fabric from unfinished projects that could now be put to good use. It felt good to spend my time giving back instead of worrying. I was on a mission to be of service. The term "isolation" was only a word of physicality, but not of spirit or mind.
Just as I finished for the day, the doorbell rang and I watched the retreating figure delivering my groceries. I put my gloves and mask on and retrieved the box of goodies. Among the ordered items was a hand written note and a carefully wrapped package of pink paper decorated with dainty rose petals. The note read," I thought you might enjoy a few treats during the days of isolation. I enjoy our conversations on the phone. Stay safe and God bless." It was signed by my newfound friend, Sam." In the package I found flavored coffees, cherry Danish, crossword puzzle books, and one wooden hand-carved cross inscribed with a powerful message, "through him all things are possible."
Word count 1143