“Sleep with me Mama?” Isaac asks me, his blue eyes eager and his hand reaching out to me. I place my hand in his and follow him to my bedroom where he jumps on the bed, pulls the cover over him, and plops his head on my pillow.
“Sleep with me, Mama.” I can’t resist and have nowhere else to be so I join him on the bed and wait for his sister to follow suit.
The rain fell hard the night before leaving puddles in our yard and gray clouds yet to disperse. I want to hide under the covers and forget what’s outside our home.
It hasn’t even been a week since we’ve self-isolated forgoing church, school, speech, and any other activities. From social media and the news I can’t help but follow the number of covid-19 cases rising and seemingly coming closer to us. My heart aches for the scope of this pandemic and what it means for our global health.
Recently Charlotte started coloring one of my books, an adult devotional coloring book. She chose the picture of a deer drinking water. For days she carefully colored the legs and flowers. “Color with me, Mama,” she asked, handing me a purple colored pencil. Together we filled the page with color and beauty.
Above the deer I find the words from Psalm 25, “In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.” The beautiful scroll of the letters and the words draw me in as we color together.
Days later we sit at the same table coloring cards for the nursing home residents in our town who aren’t allowed visitors. I cut out hearts and make designs for Charlotte to color. “This for nursing home,” she tells me as she carefully makes rainbows of colors.
“In you, Lord my God, I put my trust,” keeps coming to me. We color and draw, we think about our neighbors, we use our hands to offer prayers of hope.
I keep the words close to me and remember them as my kids cuddle next to me on the bed. At 5 and 2 they don’t understand what’s swirling around in our world. What they do know, however, is that they feel safe and loved in our home. That we’re placing our trust in God and one another. That we’re connected to our friends and family even if we’re not physically together. That hope continues to rise.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website or follow her work on Facebook.