The world is slowly opening up after the impact of the Corona virus pandemic. It’s probably safe to say that every single life in the world was somehow impacted by this event in one way or another. This coming week I prepare to return to work knowing there are different rules now in place and what we used to think of as normal no longer exists. This entire experience has caused me to reflect upon how I’ve changed over the past few months.

I’ve watched many colleagues lose their jobs causing me to be extremely grateful for mine. One of our colleagues was unable to emotionally handle all of this and when he lost his job, he took his own life. Today we held a memorial service for him on a Zoom call. It was beautiful but so very sad. Extremely sad, that as friends, we were unable to gather together in a church to truly support one another. So many people lost their lives during this pandemic, and I know this was one of many thousands of virtual memorial services held around the world throughout this whole ordeal. The thought of it just makes my heart hurt.

I went for a drive to get out of the house after the call today. I just needed to get out of the house for a bit. Driving up a side road I spotted an old building in a vacant lot that had collapsed. The old disheveled wood pile was surrounded by overgrown weeds and it caused me to whisper, “The Wiggly Worm House.”

When I was a kid, we would often drive through the country to visit my cousins who also lived in a small farming village, out in the middle of nowhere. There was one lonely broken-down abandoned house we would pass along the way. This withered broken house was hanging on by a thread and it seemed that one mild wind gust could easily send it tumbling on its side. We would get so excited to see it still standing each trip. My three sisters and I would always shout out, “The wiggly worm house! The wiggly worm house!” I guess we figured since no people lived there it was now the home of wild critters, bugs, and of course wiggly worms. I used to stare at that dead house and wonder whatever happened. Why had its people stop caring for it and loving it? What did it look like when it was sparkly and new?

Coming out of this shelter-in-place shut down period I am not the same person. Maybe that’s a good thing. I’ve changed. It’s not just the dramatically increased level of gratitude I feel for my family, friends, and health, but it’s also for life. I’m grateful for life, the little things in life. Especially the little things. I started the daily practice of reading from my Bible and a Jesus devotional each morning before starting my work day from home. I used to try to read it from time to time but felt I didn’t have time to read every single day. I know I will keep this new habit in place after all of this. I need it now more than ever. It is the single most important part of the foundation of my life.

Driving by that pile of wood today I thought about how some people are wiggly worm houses. They’re hanging on by a thread struggling to withstand the storm. Oh, how I want them to know that there is a carpenter they can call upon who can fix anything. I call him Jesus; I call him my friend. I want them to know that wiggly worms turn into butterflies. My prayer is that we all emerge from this pandemic shut down time renewed. Renewed in life, renewed in faith and emerge with new beautiful wings to fly. That is my prayer.