Our 5th day of confinement was Sunday. For obvious reasons, we didn’t go to church today. But the church came to us.
After a short time of family worship, we organized a videoconference with the church, using Google Meet. It worked great. About 20 devices were connected, about 30 people maybe. Some had problems with sound or webcams. But overall, most families were able to share their news. It was good to see so many of the folks. Everyone is fine. Several of us still have to work.
I was able to share a few words from Psalm 46. I recorded it later and it will be put on the church website for those who couldn’t attend.
After lunch, we had a lazy afternoon, watching a movie together after a nap. We had an early night because there was school at home the next day.
Day 5 went smoothly. No early morning run today. But instead some step ups, 240m height gain in about 30 minutes. In the afternoon, I went for a quick run around the block, 5k, 30 minutes again.
I also did a bit of reading for Sunday’s meditation. I will speak on Psalm 46. Interestingly, when God says “Be still, and know that I am God”, He is not speaking to the Israëlites but to the nations. In essence, he is telling the nations to stop on their track and consider who He is. Let’s make the most of this opportunity to stop for a while and recentre our lives.
Esther went out for a quick shop. I couldn’t find flour on Friday and we needed cereals for breakfast.
No work for the children today as it is Saturday. Instead, we watched a film as a family. It was a classic: “Coming to America” with Eddy Murphy. It was fun.
To go or not to go?
That was the question on my mind early yesterday morning as I was preparing to go out for a run.
I usually go out most mornings between 5:30 am and 6:00. I go on my own. I run in the countryside and rarely see anyone, except the odd runner like myself. I usually run around 10k or 1 hour.
But Friday morning I was wondering if it was still the right thing to do. I don’t think I am taking much risk for myself or others. But still, it didn’t feel right. We haven’t be told to simply distance ourselves from others. We are confined, locked down.
Many seem to face the same dilemma. Maybe that’s because there are several conflicting discourses. Socially distancing from others is understood differently by people. That’s probably why our president was criticized last week for not talking about confinement/lockdown. A few hours later a government minister had to explain what Mr. Macron meant: stay inside, don’t go out, confine yourselves.
Now exercising is allowed. But it must be for a short period of time, and near your home (that’s also vague and understood differently). For some near home is 1km. For others, it means 5km.
I still went out. It helps thinking. As I was running in the countryside, enjoying the birds singing and daylight rising. I realized I was probably showing a bad example. What if people see me. They may think I am just another foolish person, challenging the authorities, playing with my health and other people’s health. But I am not.
So this morning I decided I wouldn’t go out for a long run. I did some step-up exercises, climbing 240m in total. I may still go for a quick run in the afternoon around the block.
Day 3 was pretty similar compared to day 2. Early morning run, breakfast, shower, homework for the children. I spent part of the afternoon on the phone to get news from members of the congregation. Everyone is fine so far.
Esther went for a run in the afternoon. When she came back, I went out with the younger ones. We had a quick walk around the football field across the road. They hadn’t been out since Monday afternoon. I tried to do some reading, but didn’t go far.
We are overdosing on news so we decided we wouldn’t watch the news and watched some Youtube videos instead.
We had an early night. No need to stay up late.
The church in Cognin cannot meet for the time being because of the coronavirus crisis. All churches had to cancel their meetings last Sunday after our prime ministers asked for all premises where people meet and not indispensable to the life of the nation to close. Religious buildings could stay opened but people couldn’t meet. Then on Monday our president announced a lockdown. We are not supposed to go out. There are a few exceptions, and church services is not one of them.
But church life won’t stop. We decided to encourage fellowship in various ways:
- Videoconference: we will meet via videoconference twice a week to share news and pray together. On Sunday morning, we will also listen to a short meditation on Scripture. It will be recorded for those who can’t attend.
- prayer: I have sent a list of members and regulars to everyone so that we can pray for each other.
- Family worship: rather than tell people to follow a streaming service, I will send them a framework for family worship and some tips. In this way, the whole church will do the same things. In my opinion, this will be much more useful than passively listening to a church service (which may not be very sound theologically), especially in our context.
- Keeping in touch: I am encouraging people to stay in touch with each other and will get in touch personally with each family from time to time, especially those who can’t attend the videoconferences.
God willing, this time will be useful for our church and we’ll all be looking forward to meeting again in a few weeks/months.
Day two of the national lockdown went smoothly. I had my early morning run in the countryside. The children worked for a while in the morning. The streets were quiet.
I took the bins out. There were two stands on the weekly market but hardly anyone. We could see people running around the park.
The main street was empty, few cars, hardly anyone around. I had a chat with the folks at the bakery. They will continue to have a lot of business I think as people buy more bread.
In the afternoon, I started getting in touch with church members and various people who attend our services regularly. I hate the telephone and hardly ever use it. But I have decided I will get in touch with most folks every week especially those who can’t attend the videoconferences we are organizing. Those I spoke to were well.