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Shifting perspectives

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

I pay attention to descriptions. How would you describe what we are going through right now? Uncharted. Unprecedented. Unfathomed. Unique.

Every day, there seems to be a new issue in regards to the coronavirus outbreak that leaves us with the response of one of these words. If you’re bored of these words, I have another one you can borrow that is rather refreshing. We could all use some refreshment right now.

I’ll give you a hint. What is the one word you love to see in the window of any cafe, bakery, produce stand, seafood market or pizza shop? The word is FRESH. Now before you think I’ve lost my marbles, I can explain why I chose such a word to define the very situation that requires that we regularly use rare vocabulary. Now that you’re homeschooling, your children have probably asked you to define such words as asymptomatic, communicable, furlough, mitigation, quarantine and zoonotic. It is pretty fresh that your smart children now have an improved vocabulary.

Now that you’re working from home, you probably never knew that Zoom Conferencing had the ability to split your group into breakout sessions so that your students, fellow employees or Bible study members could still conduct small group activities. It is pretty fresh that you learned a new skill.

Now that everyone is safe at home every day, you realized that it has been a while since your family last sat down around the table at the same time to have a meal. It is pretty fresh that COVID-19 affords you the habit of daily family gatherings. And you did not have to wait until a holiday to do it.

As I looked in the mirror at the gray hairs that appear to be increasing in number over the past two weeks, I realized that these silver linings around the crown of my face are not turning gray. My new hair is growing in that way. We mourn the idea of aging and we paint gray hairs to make them appear like young hair. Yet our grays are actually newer than the longer, darker strands on our head. In that moment in the mirror, I felt the Holy Spirit was asking me a question, “Aren’t you grateful for the new perspective that God has given you during this time?” My answer is yes.

Lamentations 3:23 is a familiar scripture that reminds us that each morning God gives us new mercy. I love the way the New Living Translation says it, “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”

During this time, things may appear awfully gray. Yet, gray also has a new quality about it, just like that silver crown that is growing in around my face and possibly your face. How we see our situation in the midst of uncertainty says a great deal about how we see ourselves. I had to realize that shifting my perspective about my being stuck at home is actually being safe at home. Being safe at home has given me new skills and opportunities I did not have before. Leaning into that mirror helped me to see gray as silver. Silver is new and fresh. I pray you gain a fresh perspective about whatever you are going through in the midst of all of this. Recognize that “fresh” is the Lord’s mercy extended to you in the midst of uncertainty.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via QNikki_Notes or iamquawanna@thebiggerme.net.