Quizzically, I watched my sister labor for each breath as she leaned, flanked by the foyer wall on the left side and her husband on the other. Exhausted! Walking from driveway to door forced her to pause, recovering in between steps. Slow blinking, gasping for air in between words, she attempted explaining, through the face mask, details of her hospital encounter and the presumed diagnosis of Covid-19.
Weeks prior, the spread publicized through airwaves. Its reality materialized as my mom battled covid-like symptoms, having just returned abroad where a corona-positive tourist group was cordoned at her hotel. Threat inched closer as my nephews became violently ill in rapid succession, flu-like and covid symptoms co-mingling. Media hype mounted, fueled by fear versus trusting in the Truth. Memes and reports offered no humor or comfort in watching first-hand as my sister stretched for air that seemed just beyond her grasp. Holy fury seized me through battery acid prayers as I witnessed this evil clutch claws around my sister’s lungs, her words, her strength.
Finally, the attack halted! Fevers were lanced, fatigue was eviscerated, shortness of breath was bloodied into submission! Strategic in prayer and fasting, armored with a spiritual arsenal, my tribe of interceding sister warriors came alongside. In righteous warfare, we deposed the “false crown’s” assignment, with electrifying fire in our bones and a thundering roar in our throats.
Named for its “crown” like microscopic appearance, the virulent spread taunts and threatens to hold hostage. However, the only One worthy of the Kingly Crown is Jesus Christ! Could it be that the quarantine-masquerading-as-warden is actually rooting out what needs removal from our hearts and incubating what needs to be built and planted? Could this societal “selah” encompass more than the disruption of yestermonth, and instead, rekindle us with the Lord and one other? Could the present scenario be reviving our hearts to rescue and release souls in captivity (Isaiah 61:1)?
Subsequent days-turned-weeks of recovery and quarantine have marked our family’s reliance on God and interdependence with each other. The change whirlwind has forced us to re-calibrate amidst shifting daily rhythms. Where my sister’s breath hovered between life and death, it demanded reset and riveted focus. Decisive moments like these catapult us, prostrate before the Lord, requiring that we synchronize with the One who is uncompromisingly the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
And here, sandwiched between the pulse of productivity and the stillness of sequestering with the Holy Spirit, I yet listen for the Lord’s Heart, transmitting Heaven’s frequency through my keyboard’s percussive flow. He reveals that many families, including the collective household of faith, are being stirred by the Consuming Fire of God.
The crucible of crisis is sticky with agitation, perilously corrosive, and prickly with pain. This time, however, is not one to nurse contention or entertain distraction. It presents an extended Sabbath of sorts, a holy time-out where God seeks to purify and unify in the melting. So, we can expect it to be excruciatingly uncomfortable as impurities rise to the surface–the ones that tarnish our ability to reflect His resplendence. God is purifying Family in the crucible of what appears to be chaos; and refinement in this heated place is revealing the Hope of Glory in us (Colossians 1:27).
Although the collective of events has stretched us, our family has made joint faith steps in a God-direction. A family meeting last Sunday afternoon turned up the temperature, and none could escape. Clearly, the encounter was scheduled on the Holy Spirit’s appointment calendar; but it was unplanned for us, and at first, an admittedly unwelcomed, combustible affair.
However, abundant grace has enveloped us in the dancing flames of repentance and resolution. And I imagine that we will be suspended like molten metal until the dross is extracted and Christ’s reflection is seen in us (Romans 8:29). I’m beyond confident, though even in this awkward transition: He started it. He’s guaranteed to finish (Philippians 1:6).
Withstanding the discomfort of Sunday’s encounter, we listened to each other long enough to express our vulnerabilities. We aggressively excised several necrotic offenses and gangrenous misperceptions that had festered too long. The Holy Spirit drained the abscess, and this fostered a raw God-exchange of His Light, His Breath, and His Water to redeem the wounded place, from the inside out. In this space, He heard us as we heard one another; and He is yet healing (James 5:16).
God’s hope and promise provokes awe as He transforms us in dark places whether socially distanced from others or quarantined with loved ones. I believe that He is preparing us to emerge, pulsating with the brilliance of His Glory. This is the Lord’s desire for the entire Family: all who are made in the image and patterned after the likeness of the Everlasting Father, those already and awaiting to be transfused with the Blood of Jesus, and all people-kind who breathed in the Holy Spirit at Creation.
Even in a time such as this, we have been gifted with reawakening passion for God and compassion for neighbors near and far. We intercede for nations and their respective governments. We restore those dis-membered from the Body with Healing Balm (Jeremiah 8:22). We break bread in homes and break hearts in repentant fasting and worship. We love across the street and around the globe. We reactivate zeal and preparation for prodigal siblings soon to return home. Through all of this, I still see miracles, signs, and wonders. Corona’s intention to quarantine us into fear and death has actually resulted in the opposite: to further elevate and enthrone Jesus Christ in our hearts, the only one to be Crowned as King of Kings.
©2020 Angelique Thomas. Feel free to forward this article in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past articles or subscribe to receive these articles in your email inbox.