Zechariah 8:4-6 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Once again old men and women will walk Jerusalem’s streets with their canes and will sit together in the city squares. And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls at play. “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: All this may seem impossible to you now, a small remnant of God’s people. But is it impossible for me? says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
As a child, I was drawn to older people, rather than to play with the other children my age. I loved hearing the elderly members’ stories of how things were different in their youth than what we were experiencing at the time. They walked slower than me, so I would adjust my stride to keep up with them and continue to hear the lessons that have been beneficial to me in my life.
When other children ran away because they didn’t want to hear that “God stuff,” I would run toward them, because somehow I knew that hearing about Jesus was important. Today, the streets are empty of people of all ages, mainly because the coronavirus is so serious for elderly people.
The opportunities for mingling across age groups are fewer as even multi-generational families keep their distance, to protect the most vulnerable members. But, Zoom and Facetime are technologies that allow us to still communicate with each other, to see faces and smiles, and listen to stories of surviving that which seemed impossible. Families find ways to stay connected. Children still need the wisdom of previous generations. It has always been so.
I am strengthened by knowing that nothing is impossible with God the Father. The promise made to the former exiles that the streets of Jerusalem, despite the Temple being destroyed and the city walls in ruins, would one day be filled with people of all ages out enjoying their lives again encourages me and keeps my hopes alive.
Continue to communicate with the elderly, not allowing them to feel neglected until that blessed day when we can hug each other and feel comfortable around each other, not worrying about spreading disease. This, too, will pass. The promises of God are still true. This crisis will end, as has all of the ones before it. Be safe and take care of yourself.