The Collective Reflective


Have you noticed? We have become people who are counting.

We are counting things. We are counting days. We are counting people on the walking trail. Counting people who are sick – and even sweeter, counting the people who have recovered. We have stepped into the forest, and we can literally count the trees.

One of my favorite things I am seeing right now is the Numbered Days. Threads and conversations and posts are numbered: Coronavirus, Day 4, 5, 6, and so on. COVID Adventures, Day 4, 5, 6, and the like.

People are keeping track of how they spend their days with their kids, their families, their work, their lives. We’ve become a reflective people. A Collective Reflective.

We are looking more closely. We are looking at what we truly need. (And it’s not as much toilet paper as we thought.) We are looking into each other’s eyes, even if it’s in the way we look at the flight attendant during the turbulence, when we’re watching to see if we should be afraid.

We are truly in a season where Less is More.
Less hurry, less traffic, less places to be.
More Walks. More Conversations.
More awareness of the people around us.
More time.

This season – and God only knows how long this will last (and I mean that literally, not proverbially or metaphorically) – is not a mistake. It won’t last forever – because nothing ever does.
Perhaps this season isn’t something “to get through,” but a time “to taste and see.”

There is something sweet in this time. Something about being out of the routine, off the racetrack, out of the rat race, off the merry-go-round.

My happiness today: I had no idea on God’s green earth that I’d ever – EVER – enjoy homeschooling. I mean, that in itself is a weird and wonderful discovery. (The jury is out on whether it’s more weird or more wonderful.) I suspect the winning element for us all is the universally declared freedom to sleep in. I mean, let’s be clear: if I’m homeschooling, instruction does not begin before 10:00am.

I said to my guys, “Won’t it be amazing if you like distance learning so much that you decide you want to homeschool after this?”

They gave me the side eye. “That’s not happening, Mom.”

Okay, so, good. It won’t last forever, then. Nothing ever does.

But there is something sweet in this time. We will know it later, as we always do, when we will look back and remember. Later, we will recall what was important and true, and we will talk about what it was like when the whole world pressed pause.

Won’t it be even sweeter if we can taste it now? What if we can be truly aware of the happiness in the moment when it’s happening?

~ ~ ~

“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul… Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are not prepared to receive them.”

~ Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. Tridcia, I see that you, too, apply the word “pause” to this unprecedented period of history. First there was the term Global Shaking, the whole world disrupted by a micro-organism, all of us experiencing the same shock and dis-ease at once, as predicted in Hebrews 12:25-27, God removing the familiar and temporary so the things which are unshakeable, eternal and ultimately matter the most remain.

    Now there is the descriptive Global Pause. Intercessors for America used the term. Governor Cuomo used the term. Vice-President Pence used the term, all apparently independently.

    With it comes the settling in to wait for the Global–hopefully divine–Reset of the foundations of our values and perspectives.

    I have started a series of “wee word studies” called Peace in the Pause” at, to encourage all of us “shut-ins” as we learn how to adjust and “assemble ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25-27) virtually.

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