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  • Writer's pictureIan Gullickson


Updated: Dec 10, 2020

By Ian Gullickson

In a nearby alleyway, a father and son work together on a homemade table. Of course, the son may be too small to offer much woodworking support, but his presence—and these memories—are what shape us and give love, joy, and meaning.

Not too much further down, an old man chops wood—a fine activity for a brisk April day.

Many jog along, others play in their yards. Of course, all attempt to remain physically distant, for this is how we love our neighbors in this season.

We’re all here now; limited to be where we are, and to live in the homes and apartments which we’ve spent so much to occupy. Here is an unexpected gift: presence and a sense of place. I hope we heed the lessons of this season, but I pray for healing and a quick resolution.

I myself walk along, trudging slowly, but feeling strangely full, as my dog smells every blade of grass. We’re all here now, and I’m forced to slow down.

Still, not all is poetic or beautiful; not all families are united, and not all neighbors express love.

Some still choose to play the role of the oppressor, forsaking their real identity and vocation to live into the Imago Dei.

I see broken windows of several cars, see the hurt in my neighbor’s eyes, and tears about to run down a girl’s face.

Who did this, and why? Boredom, scarcity, or malice? I’m unsure, but we’re all here now, and we start to hear the murmur of our brokenness when we slow down enough to listen.

We’re all here now, and I hope we make this house a home and this neighborhood a community. I pray the pandemic subsides, and that we heal, but I hope this chaotic, scary, and uncertain time can teach us something.

We’re all here, and I hope we stay.

We’re all here, let’s see the beauty in the day.

We’re all here, may we learn to see each other’s pain.

We’re all here.

4/4/2020—Reflections under “Shelter in Place”

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