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On the Other Side of Distraction
5/6/2020 9:00:00 AM by: Marilyn Nutter

I miss family dinners and my grandchildren’s hugs. Shopping habits, the way we shop, and how often, have changed. The economy has shut down, causing financial hardship for many. Statistics of illness and death rise daily.

Distraction.

We’ve been distracted-every one of us-from the life we knew since Covid-19 appeared and evolved into a pandemic. Social distancing and self-isolation have affected relationships. 

The pandemic’s effects and life alterations have escaped no one. Life has been interrupted and changes have been inconvenient, but for others, these disruptions have been serious and heartbreaking. I personally know two people who have died. Their funerals are postponed. Grieving family can’t receive the company and closeness of friends at a time when it is most needed.  

Can we find any encouragement in the serious distraction the virus has imposed?

People knew in their minds, but now realize in their hearts, the church is not a building with programs but a body of believers without walls. Encouraging devotions and online church services have flooded the internet. Memes with humor, scripture, and prayer pass through our Facebook and Instagram feeds. Twitter sends us to inspiration. People who are discouraged or  don’t know Christ are reading and viewing. We’re connecting with and influencing people we don’t personally know.

The unity of the American spirit and willingness to help and encourage others has been remarkable. We’ve seen videos of people cheering health care workers as they enter a hospital, and we’ve received emails asking us to stop and pray at 9 pm. Friends call or post on a neighborhood site, “I’m going to the store. Do you need anything?” Though we don’t know their names, we pray for people in hard places. How many times have you heard, “We’re in this together”? We are. 

Creativity has been unearthed. Live sports events are cancelled, so our attendance or via TV programming, has changed, leaving space for interaction at home. Children and teens go to closets and find board games, exchanging screen time for interaction and conversation. Home schooling has taken on a new dimension. Families go out for walks. 

Restaurants have shut down, open only for drive-thru or pick up. One friend posted, with an accompanying emoji, she discovered she has a kitchen with a stove and oven. Old cookbooks are dusted off and opened to once favorite recipes. Family mealtimes are more common now than before the pandemic isolated us at home. With school closed and parents at home, these take place two or three times a day.

We affirm we are created not to live in isolation but in community. Connections through texts, emails, and phone calls have increased. I’ve communicated with several out of state friends for the first time in years. We’ve taken the art of listening to a new level. When high school seniors lament the evaporation of long-awaited school experiences and kids say they are lonely, we stop, engage, and empathize, knowing their experiences are important to them. 

For those who live alone, imposed isolation exaggerates loneliness and the lack of human touch. Staying six feet apart, I’ve met friends for a long walk and then like kids at recess, we sat in our lawn chairs, took out our sack lunches, and talked for an hour. We strengthen each other face to face.

We have time to accomplish the projects we’ve put off for months and perhaps, years. Sorting through my filing cabinet was a trip down memory lane. Information related to house closings and Bible studies I taught, reminded me of God’s faithfulness then…and now.

Our personal devotional and study times have expanded. Daily minutes have stretched into hours with new eyes and desire. We have time. Prayer has gone to a deeper level. Many are journaling and recording especially meaningful scriptures and sharing them with others who are anxious and depressed in this crisis. 

The distraction of the corona virus is imposed, serious, and real. We break through as we can. What do we find at the other side of this distraction? 

As tragic as the Covid-19 virus and its effects are, we’re finding life. A paradox to be sure.

On Good Friday, death was offered so we’d have life. In our crisis, our former activity has died,  but values, spirit, and hope have come to life. 

The beauty of the church, the joy of relationships, the treasure of connections, seeing our community as more than local friends and family, and recognition of God who is in control, as we draw on the strength of His Word, are just a few. We pray for those who suffer and grieve and reach out to them in creative ways. We pause and our hearts hurt.

I’m praying, when this is over—and it will be—we will remember we found treasures of a simpler and deeper life through a crisis, drew closer to God, and thought more about “we” than “I”; and as we remember, hold tightly to them.

 

Marilyn Nutter, of Greer, SC is a member of Word Weavers Upstate and serves as their chaplain. She is the author of three devotional books, a contributor to magazines, on-line sites, and compilations. A Bible teacher and speaker for women’s and grief groups, she serves on the women’s ministry team at her church. In her life’s seasons, she has met God’s faithfulness and clings to Lamentations 3:22-23. Visit her author page on Facebook at Marilyn Nutter or stop to read at http://marilynnutter.com/ and encounter treasures in unexpected places.  

 

 

 

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Comments

Candyce From Georgia At 5/7/2020 3:28:29 PM

What great points and reminders you make with this post! I'm so thankful to belong to a church that is living out your #1 item. It has taken its service to the community to a whole new level because we're all hyper-aware of the many needs during this time.

Jeannie Waters From Georgia At 5/6/2020 2:04:34 PM

Marilyn, thank you for a view of the positive side and a reminder of how we’re called to reach out to others even in the middle of distractions. Excellent post.

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3/31/2017 8:00:00 AM  by: Diane E. Tatum

Faith In Process: Why Prayer is Essential to Our Writing
3/24/2017 8:00:00 AM  by: Terri Rhoden

Writers Are a Strange Lot
3/16/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Lori Hatcher

When Balance and Writing Don't Co-exist
3/9/2017 3:30:00 PM  by: Heather Iseminger

Six Blogging Trends for 2017
3/1/2017 11:00:00 AM  by: Andy Lee

Six Things to Do When You Want to Give Up
2/24/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Maresa DePuy

Faculty Interview with Heather Iseminger
2/22/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Susan Reichert
2/21/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Linda Gilden
2/20/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Tina Yeager
2/19/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Beth Patch
2/18/2017 3:00:00 PM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Karen Ball
2/18/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Erin Taylor Young
2/17/2017 3:00:00 PM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Dawn Anderson
2/17/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Dan Walsh
2/15/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Nancy Lohr
2/14/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Natalie Gillespie
2/13/2017 3:00:00 PM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Shana Asaro
2/13/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Dr. Dennis E. Hensley
2/12/2017 8:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Bethany Jett
2/11/2017 3:00:00 PM  by: Eva Marie Everson

Media and Promos with Punch
2/11/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Kathy Bruins

Faculty Interview with Lindsay Brackett
2/10/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Michelle Medlock Adams
2/9/2017 1:30:00 PM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Eva Marie Everson and Mark Hancock
2/8/2017 10:30:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Edie Melson
2/6/2017 3:19:00 PM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Eddie Jones
2/3/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Hannah C. Hall
2/1/2017 3:00:00 PM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Cyle Young
1/30/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Kristen Stieffel
1/28/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Bill Watkins
1/27/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Glimpses from the Writer’s Glossary
1/23/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Linda Gilden

Faculty Interview with Torry Martin
1/20/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Marti Pieper
1/18/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Shellie Arnold
1/16/2017 11:15:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Writing a Standout First Page and Blurb
1/11/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Shana Asaro

How to Evaluate Your Options
1/9/2017 2:15:00 PM  by: Cheri Cowell

Faculty Interview with Linda Glaz
1/6/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Continuous Critique Track?
1/4/2017 9:25:00 AM  by: Shellie Arnold

Faculty Interview with Lora Zill
1/2/2017 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Laura Petherbridge
12/30/2016 10:05:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Interview with Katy Kauffman
12/28/2016 9:46:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Interview with Kristen Hogrefe
12/26/2016 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Ben Wolf
12/23/2016 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

5 Reasons to be a Word Weaver
12/21/2016 11:26:00 AM  by: Kristen Hogrefe

Finding Your Tribe
12/19/2016 10:28:00 AM  by: Katy Kauffman

Faculty interview with Angela Hunt
12/16/2016 9:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Alton Gansky
12/14/2016 9:10:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Faculty Interview with Cheri Cowell
12/13/2016 8:00:00 AM  by: Bethany Jett

A Silent Retreat
12/12/2016 10:26:00 AM  by: Laura Petherbridge

How to Get More Readers Using Libraries and Magazines ( A Class Offered)
12/9/2016 10:39:00 AM  by: Susan Reichert

Platform is Not a Four Letter Word
12/7/2016 10:00:00 AM  by: Andy Lee

Writing for CBN.com
12/5/2016 11:07:00 AM  by: Beth Patch

Nonfiction A-Z
12/2/2016 9:00:00 AM  by: Edie Melson

Blogging for the Soul and Making a Difference
11/30/2016 5:44:00 PM  by: Andy Lee

Will I Ever Be Published?
11/28/2016 1:14:00 PM  by: Linda S. Glaz

Conquering Mountains
11/25/2016 11:19:00 AM  by: Erin Taylor Young

I've Written a Children's Book . . . Now What?
11/16/2016 3:35:00 PM  by: Hannah C. Hall

To Plot or Not
11/14/2016 10:27:00 AM  by: Nancy Lohr

Writing to Satisfy Our Insatiable Longing to Feel God's Pleasure
11/11/2016 3:30:00 PM  by: Lora Zill

The Problem with Procrastination
11/9/2016 12:00:00 PM  by: Andy Lee

Tips for Mastering Dialogue
11/7/2016 1:19:00 PM  by: Dr. Dennis Hensley

Self-Editing: The Key to Better Writing
11/4/2016 10:44:00 AM  by: Bill Watkins

Poetry: Cross-Training for Prose Writers
10/31/2016 9:48:00 AM  by: Lora Zill

Issues Writing That Matters
10/28/2016 10:06:00 AM  by: Bill Watkins

7 Trends in Book Publishing
10/24/2016 11:05:00 AM  by: Eddie Jones

Ethics for Christian Writers
10/21/2016 10:58:00 AM  by: Marti Pieper

Ministry Multiplied
10/17/2016 11:10:00 AM  by: Alton Gansky

Guidelines for Effective Networking
10/14/2016 10:44:00 AM  by: Deb Haggerty

Stay Current: Keep Italics Out of Your Fiction
10/7/2016 10:08:00 AM  by: Dr. Angela Hunt

To E-Book Or Not To E-Book: That is the question
9/30/2016 1:28:00 PM  by: Cheri Cowell

Is My Writing Good Enough?
9/23/2016 9:31:00 AM  by: Tina Yeager

Look Who Is Teaching the Fiction Continuing Class
9/16/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Eva Marie Everson

The Difference Between a Dream and a Call
9/2/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Andy Lee

Lose the Parts Readers Skip
8/26/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Dan Walsh

How to Let People Know Your Book Exists
8/19/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Natalie Gillespie

Advice from an Editor Regarding Your Manuscript
8/5/2016 3:38:17 PM  by: Fay Lamb

Through the eyes of an acquisition editor
7/29/2016 3:06:44 PM  by: Ramona Richards

Be a Book Influencer
7/15/2016 1:43:43 PM  by: Deborah Raney

Finding Value Through Faith
6/24/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Denae Haas

Never Discredit Anyone (Especially God)
6/17/2016 2:25:38 PM  by: Eva Marie Everson

The Quote for the Quarter Hour
6/3/2016 4:22:36 PM  by: Robert Benson

Thank a Military Family
5/27/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Andy Lee

The Benefits of a Small Press
5/20/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Eddie Jones

12 Steps to Prevent Writer Burnout and Nurture Balance
5/13/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: DiAnn Mills

Write Thoughtfully
5/6/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Diana Flegal

3 Keys to Writing Bible Studies that Sell
4/29/2016 3:11:19 PM  by: Andy Lee

The Benefits of Writing Devotions
4/15/2016 3:31:22 PM  by: Ava Pennington

A Different Perspective in Crafting Fiction
4/8/2016 10:02:31 AM  by: Steven James

Some Miracles Take Time
4/1/2016 12:10:16 PM  by: Andy Lee

A Tribute to Mary Sue Seymour
3/25/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Andy Lee

How to be an Influencer
3/18/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Deborah Raney

Why Platform is Important--Now I Know
3/11/2016 1:53:35 PM  by: Andy Lee

4 Resources to Help Writers Write Well
3/4/2016 3:34:42 PM  by: Andy Lee

What's in and What's Out in Publishing Workshop
2/24/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Blythe Daniel

How to Write for Children . . .
2/19/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Michelle Medlock Adams

Mistakes Made After Meeting with Agents & Editors
2/17/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Blythe Daniel

10 Secrets for a Great Writers Conference
2/15/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Bethany Jett

A More Than Enough Kind of God
2/12/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Michelle Medlock Adams

For Want of a Hook
2/10/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Dan Walsh

What Does a Writers Conference Chaplain Do?
2/8/2016 10:27:44 AM  by: Marti Pieper

Author Marketing
2/5/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Edie Melson

Move Over Clark: The Basics of Journalism
2/3/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Michael Ray Smith

Tips to Get the Most Out of the Critique Track
2/1/2016 10:10:24 AM  by: Shellie Arnold

Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Critique Track?
1/29/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Shellie Arnold

An Introvert's Best Friend (Live Streaming)
1/27/2016 4:27:39 PM  by: Bethany Jett

Who am I Writing For?
1/25/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: S. Kim Henson

The Day I Decided to Keep Writing
1/22/2016 10:24:06 AM  by: Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Invest in Your Writing
1/20/2016 3:52:24 PM  by: Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Your Writers Conference Checklist
1/18/2016 3:06:23 PM  by: Andy Lee

5 Reasons to Launch a Blog
1/16/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Andy Lee

Craft Fiction with Vivid Emotion
1/13/2016 7:15:06 PM  by: Tina Yeager

Thoughts on being a Submissive Writer
1/9/2016 8:23:46 AM  by: Edie Melson

How Fast Should Your Blog Grow?
1/6/2016 12:04:56 PM  by: Edie Melson

The ART of Exceptional Editing
1/4/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Deb Haggerty

Happy New Year
1/1/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Andy Lee

Finding Your Strengths and Weaknesses
12/28/2015 11:29:31 AM  by: Mary Keeley

Do Writers Need a Blog or Website?
12/22/2015 11:21:19 AM  by: Edie Melson

"Second-Fiddle" Characters Play an Important Role
12/16/2015 12:57:39 PM  by: Tom Morrisey

Let Them Eat Bread: An Editor's Thoughts on FCWC
12/14/2015 3:04:39 PM  by: Jesse Florea

Preparing for Promotion
12/10/2015 12:59:44 PM  by: Michelle Medlock Adams

Jesus Believed in the Power of Story
12/7/2015 10:02:07 AM  by: Dan Walsh

How to Use Hashtags in Social Media
12/4/2015 5:34:23 PM  by: Edie Melson

Where Writer Conference Connections Can Take You
12/2/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Lindsey Brackett

Why Should I Attend a Writers Conference?
11/30/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Andy Lee

How to Fight Discouragement... as a Writer
11/23/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Andy Lee

An Interview with Acclaimed Author, Robert Benson
11/18/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Eva Marie Everson

How to Write a Synopsis of Your Nonfiction Book
11/14/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Kristin Stieffel

How to Write a Synopsis of Your Novel
11/9/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Kristin Stieffel

Let God Define You
11/4/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Michelle Medlock Adams

10 Clues that You Are a Fiction Writer
10/31/2015 10:30:07 AM  by: Taryn Souders

The Basics of a Book Proposal
10/27/2015 3:12:39 PM  by: Kristin Stieffel

What To Wear at FCWC
10/23/2015 12:28:32 PM  by: Eva Marie Everson

The Skinny on Business Cards
10/15/2015 11:14:47 AM  by: Andy Lee

Just Do Your Part
10/12/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Michelle Medlock Adams

A Sneak Peek into a New Class at FCWC 2016
10/2/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Shellie Arnold

50 Reasons Why You Should Never Write
9/28/2015 3:14:22 PM  by: Pro Krasta Nation Publishers

The Best First Step on Your Journey to Published
9/21/2015 2:40:54 PM  by: Eva Marie Everson

10 "Not-So-Secret" Secrets for a Great Writers Conference
2/10/2015 11:40:12 AM  by: Bethany Jett

Go Where God Leads
2/1/2015 4:24:15 PM  by: Allison Bottke

Moving From Passion to Process
1/27/2015 7:08:31 PM  by: Ava Pennington

Your Last First Conference
1/19/2015 11:57:13 AM  by: Kristen Hogrefe

What Is Compel Training?
1/9/2015 12:36:27 PM  by: Suzie Eller

That Agent Meeting
1/3/2015 7:44:41 AM  by: Tamela Hancock Murray

Three Problems with Point of View
12/21/2014 9:21:59 PM  by: Kristen Stieffel

How to Evaluate Your Options
12/5/2014 3:23:10 PM  by: Cheri Cowell

Writing Effective Book Proposals
11/29/2014 9:37:42 AM  by: Jim Watkins

Do the Math
11/21/2014 7:49:46 AM  by: Marti Pieper

Becoming More Media Savvy
11/15/2014 11:12:20 AM  by: Natalie Gillespie

The Perfect Book Pitch
11/8/2014 6:04:14 PM  by: Dawn Anderson

Moved With Compassion
10/20/2014 8:26:14 PM  by: Diana Flegal

Splickety In A Flash
10/9/2014 1:30:56 PM  by: Ben Wolf

Look into Their Eyes: Why Editors Go to Writers Conferences
9/29/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Ramona Richards

A Writer's Life
2/21/2014 1:32:01 PM  by: Dan Walsh

The Good, The Bad, and The Gutless
2/20/2014 10:16:18 AM  by: DiAnn Mills

I Want 2 Write 4 Teens
2/13/2014 11:32:07 AM  by: Marti Pieper

6 Things Writers Should NOT Say to Editors or Agents
2/12/2014 9:03:54 AM  by: Jevon Bolden

Don't Be Labeled "Dead On Arrival"
1/30/2014 10:59:22 AM  by: Eddie Jones

Imagine. Create. For a More Confident Faith
1/28/2014 9:19:18 AM  by: Lora Zill

Burnout or Balance
1/21/2014 6:42:50 AM  by: DiAnn Mills

Money Workouts for Writers
1/18/2014 8:20:49 AM  by: Ellie Kay

The Tale of Three Authors
1/10/2014 9:27:11 AM  by: Cheri Cowell

Three Questions, Three Answers
1/7/2014 3:44:05 PM  by: B.J. Taylor

The Introvert's Guide to the Writers Conference
1/2/2014 8:11:05 PM  by: Marti Pieper

After Your Meeting with an Editor or Agent
2/23/2013 8:09:52 AM  by: Blythe Daniel

It's Headed Right Towards Us
2/16/2013 2:53:05 PM  by: Amber Weigand-Buckley

So, Tell Me About Your Platform
2/11/2013 8:44:17 AM  by: Cheri Cowell

How Will Readers Find Your Book...
2/1/2013 9:07:24 AM  by: Eddie Jones

Tips For Coming to the FCWC From a Floridian
1/26/2013 9:45:40 PM  by: Cheri Cowell

How to Write For Kids When ...
1/23/2013 4:06:57 PM  by: Michelle Medlock Adams

Why Take the Chance?
1/7/2013 8:43:58 AM  by: Fay Lamb

Having a Positive Influence
1/4/2013 11:55:00 AM  by: Deborah Raney

Managing Your Time
12/29/2012 10:20:26 AM  by: Rusty Wright

Are You Ready for the Conference?
12/26/2012 8:45:52 PM  by: W. Terry Whalin

Devoted to Devotions
12/21/2012 9:04:49 AM  by: Ava Pennington

A Different View of Story
12/18/2012 10:31:31 PM  by: Steven James