The silver linings

Written by Amy Parker
Published on September 04, 2020

My family and I were driving home the other day, and we saw a picture-perfect cloud brightly lined at the top in solid silver. It was the most perfect example of a silver lining I’d ever seen. And it got me to thinking about all the silver linings of this hard, weird time.

 

  1. Time with our families. Has there ever been a time, besides preschool, that our kids have been home for six months straight? If you’re a homeschool family, of course, the answer is yes, but for my family, this has been a six-month summer break, which is certainly unprecedented. Of course, that can present some challenges, especially at a time when we’re rethinking how to get groceries. But for the most part, this season has been rich with quality time with our kids.  

 

  1. A surge in creativity. It was everywhere—from chalk drawings on the sidewalks to logistical creativity in continuing to work without offices. I saw your squirrel-proof bird feeder, your Rube Goldberg Swish machine, your Zoom choirs, and your hilariously true Zoom meeting bingo memes. The TV networks were even in on it, trying to figure out how to produce shows without leaving the house. (Jimmy Fallon’s At Home Edition was one of my faves—and an excellent combination of silver linings #1 and 2.) Oh my goodness, and John Krasinski’s Some Good News?! It delivered exactly what the world needed at exactly the right time. Even with all of the activities that this pandemic subdued, it most certainly brought our creativity to life.

 

  1. A surge in neighborliness. This time of being secluded really turned into quite the opposite in my neighborhood, and I’m guessing you saw the same. There were neighborhood teddy bear hunts and offers for grocery runs. One dad shared his hobby of roasting coffee beans with the neighborhood (hal-le-lujah!), and other neighbors posted offerings of plants and goodies from their gardens. We’ve seen more lemonade stands and families more frequently circling in their wagons and on their bikes. And the drive-by birthdays! How many houses have you honked at when you saw the festive signage in their yards? We have turned back the clock to true neighborliness, to taking the time to see the person across the fence.

 

  1. A new appreciation for health. My husband is a Type-1 diabetic, so health is rarely on the backburner at our house. And during a pandemic, when this makes us more at-risk, we take things much more seriously. Even so, we’ve been thankful for every healthy day we’ve had, every day that we haven’t shown symptoms (which has been every day so far, thankfully), and every day when those around us have been healthy. I’ve had friends lose loved ones to this virus, so for them and all of us, it just makes us that much more appreciative of the healthy bodies that we have.

 

  1. A new appreciation for being together. I think the greatest example I’ve seen of this is within the Church. My pastor, specifically, after preaching to an empty auditorium for several weeks, was overcome with joy when they first welcomed the church back on campus. You could just feel the energy and a new appreciation for worshipping as a community again. And even better, our church took the services outside and turned it into an entire summer festival, offering three livestreamed services per week, baptizing pools every weekend, and performances from some amazing Christian artists whose live performances have otherwise been halted. Win-win-win-win-win!

 

  1. Time to be still. Every time we go to our family’s house in Florida, we say, “We’re truly going to make this a free vacation. We’re going to stay here and swim and eat what we catch . . .” Aaaand every time, we don’t. Except this time. This time, this summer, there were too many questions and concerns about beaches and restaurants and even henna tattoos, so we finally did it. We stayed at the house, ordered groceries in, and just enjoyed the sunsets and each other. And I’d venture to guess that next time, we’ll be much more likely to do it again.

 

  1. A chance to recalibrate. All of these silver linings have been such gifts and perhaps, combined, they’ve offered us the greatest gift of all: a chance to recalibrate. Some of my friends have chosen to homeschool. Some have chosen to go back to school themselves. Some have realized that a restaurant ain’t got nothin’ on a home cooked meal. It’s given us new eyes for beauty, a new appreciation of loved ones, and a new look at priorities. It has shown us the brightest hope and the greatest happiness, even while surrounded by hardship. It has been a beautiful time of turning off the news and turning on the world right here around us.

 

And for all of these things, for these priceless silver linings, I am so grateful.

 

Check out Amy’s newest book, Night Night, Pumpkin!

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Amy Parker

Amy Parker has written more than sixty books for children, teens, and adults, with almost 2 million copies sold. She has collaborated with authors ranging from New York Times bestsellers to her very own son. Two of these collaborations—Firebird and Courageous Teens—are recipients of Christian Retailing’s Best Awards. But Amy’s greatest reward is being a wife to Daniel and a mom to their amazing sons, Michael and Ethan.

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