In his latest “From the Chapel” blog post, OSV publisher Scott Richert writes, “Our family…
From the Chapel — April 29: In his hands
“From the Chapel” is a series of short, daily reflections on life and faith in a time of uncertainty. As people across the world cope with the effects of the coronavirus — including the social isolation necessary to combat its spread — these reflections remind us of the hope that lies at the heart of the Gospel.
As of today, three of our children are 21. No, wait — that’s not quite right. As of today, the third of our children has turned 21.
Our oldest, Rebekah, will turn 25 in a couple of weeks; Jacob turned 23 on Candlemas; and Stephen turned 21 today. Had COVID-19 not come along, he would have been in Dubuque, Iowa, completing his last semester at Loras College, and we would have been wishing him happy birthday via FaceTime.
Instead, all 10 of us celebrated his birthday here together, sheltering in place as we have been for the last seven weeks. That celebration was one of the unexpected joys of an unwanted situation — one of those times when God (unlike man) can take two wrongs and make a right.
Amy baked a cake — no candles, but who wants someone blowing on your food nowadays? — and Stephen made his own birthday dinner, assisted by his sister, Grace. Grace just finished — remotely, of course — her first year at Marian University in Indianapolis, and she had been looking forward to spending the summer as a Totus Tuus missionary in Chicago. Her program has been canceled, and so today she was hired back at the place she worked last summer here in Huntington.
Until we moved to Huntington three years ago, we had home-schooled all of our children, so sheltering in place with 10 people has perhaps been a bit easier for us to adjust to than it might have been for others. But as in any family, there have been over the years tensions among our children and between most of them (at one time or another) and us. (Well, me. Amy is a saint.)
But 46 days into the longest “Twilight Zone” episode ever (I just picked up my new glasses two days ago), our house has been filled mostly with laughter. The plumber who installed our new water heater during our dinner hour yesterday told me he thought he was in an episode of “The Waltons.” (“What’s a Walton?”, Cordelia, who will be 15 in September, asked.)
That’s less a testament to our parenting, or a genetic predisposition to geniality (we are all Richerts, after all), than it is to grace. He’s got this, after all; all we need to do is to trust him and place ourselves in his hands.
Scott P. Richert is publisher for OSV.