Living through the Covid-19 pandemic has been both a challenge and a blessing. My wife and I spent some time living in the same house with our son and daughter-in-law, their four children, our daughter, and our nephew. Add three dogs to the mix and I can assure you we had a full house!
When covid hit, we had the standard limitations but chose not to focus on them. Instead, we were determined to make good out of it all. When our normal life activities were put on hold, amazingly our family relationships flourished.
I saw God’s grace at work in many ways:
- My 12-year-old granddaughter, Grace, gave up her room for us to use. Though she was just starting to enjoy her own little spot in her family home, she chose generosity over her own comfort.
- Often, after a day of remote work and virtual school, all ten of us piled in the van. We drove to the park and walked the trails together.
- We helped teach our grandchildren good spiritual habits. At dinner, the grandkids soon became comfortable sharing things they were thankful for. On Sundays, they shared what they had learned at church.
- We successfully unhooked our grandsons from their screens. My wife and I showed them activities we did as children. Before long the boys were building paper airplanes and boats. We also learned the importance of perseverance when our first efforts at making a kite were failures.
- One chilly afternoon I sat outside watching my grandsons play basketball. My five year old grandson, observing that I was getting cold, came up to where I was sitting and removed his jacket. He covered my shoulders to keep me warm and then went back to playing. What a show of compassion and care from that little boy. A true Kodak moment!
- We grew in teamwork when the young boys, Logan, Liam and Cathan, helped fix the deck – something my son had been planning to do for a while. We finished this task together as a team. There is a very special sense of ownership and pride that comes from completing a project together.
I was one of those grandparents who had nearly unlimited time to spend with their grandchildren! Sharing time together, engaging in teamwork, sacrificing for each other, and talking about spiritual matters all served to build a kind of family life that is difficult to create in the modern highly-mobile world. I expect the pandemic of 2021 to yield great relational dividends in the years to come.
Cecil Penson and his wife Puring live in Union, New Jersey, where they are members of the Family of Faith Community. The Pensons have four children and six grandchildren.
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