FreerangeFriday: The Wilderness of the Pandemic

by Lilly Lewin
pitcher and tears

by Lilly Lewin

My friend Thom Jensen posted this on Facebook
“Four years ago today.
Saturday 3/14.
All Apple stores in the world to shut down for 2 weeks. (So they thought)
I never went back to work. ”

All the Apple Stores ended up being shut for 9 months because of covid 19

Do you remember what you were doing this week in March 2020?
Do you remember how much we didn’t know?
How uncertain everything felt?
I took some time this week to look back through my photos to see what I was doing and what I was feeling as the pandemic started. My husband and I had been sick most of February with some crud that may or may not have been covid because there weren’t any tests yet.

I remember that on Thursday, March 12th that the National Basketball Association cancelled their season. Since this is professional basketball, people in the USA really took notice and realized the global pandemic that the World Health Organization had declared on March 11 was actually real.

I was reading the CDC time line of the pandemic and remembering how much we didn’t know back then. I remember hearing about all the deaths in Italy and listening to the Italians sing to one another from their balconies.

Italy suffered extensively and the world watched.

In Nashville, we had just experienced a major tornado ripping through the city. Clean up began in the middle of things shutting down.  I remember that there was conflict between the Nashville mayor and some of the business owners Downtown in the honkey tonk district of Broadway because they didn’t want to shut down and lose money on St. Patrick’s Day. And the conflict started about wearing masks.

How did you experience the first weeks of the pandemic? What do you remember? What stands out?

This week I am noticing how I’m feeling four years on and noticing all the pain of the last few years.

You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your record?
Psalm 56:8 NRSV

God holds our tears in the wilderness of Grief and Sorrow. READ THE WHOLE CHAPTER

This week, March 13th,  marks the fourth anniversary of Brianna Taylor’s death. She was an emergency medical technician who was home with her boyfriend when the Louisville police broke down the door and shot into the apartment and killed her. She had done nothing wrong. The police didn’t take the time to ask questions. They shot first. She was only 26 years old..She would be 30 this year. She was black. I have a son who will be 32 this year. Due to his color , he never has to worry about the police.

Brianna was the first of many painful, senseless killings of black people by police in 2020 and because of the lockdown we had time to pay attention to a pandemic of death that had been going on for years and sadly still continues.

The anniversary of her death hit me hard. I think because so little has changed. There is still so much violence against people of color in our country and our world.
EMT’s took my dad by ambulance to the ER hospital on Saturday after an episode that my mom thought was a stroke or a heart attack. Thankfully it was just a blackout from his blood pressure dropping but as many of you know, hospital stays are stress full and not restful. So everyone in the family s exhausted from this event and wondering when it will happen again.

Layers of grief

Layers of fatigue that we carry around with us …sometimes we notice. sometimes we feel sad or depressed and we don’t understand why… I  think it’s because we have all suffered loss and been impacted by the global pain.

Then add on the wars in our world, and the conflict in politics and an election year her in the states and it truly can be overwhelming.


On March 27th we will remember the first year anniversary of the Covenant School shooting that happened near my neighborhood .Three fourth graders and three staff members died when a former student with a military style rife opened fire in the school.

And here in Tennessee, the state legislature wants to make it illegal to buy cold beer to prevent drunk driving deaths but refuses to put any limitations on gun sales. We are a permit less, open carry state where anyone can purchase a gun without any training and very limited background checks.

This all makes me so crazy! Especially when I know that other countries don’t deal with gun deaths every single day!


I think our whole world is exhausted and in grief. I our bodies feel it even if we aren’t choosing to pay attention. We really do need rest and restoration and time to grieve.

You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your record?
Psalm 56:8 NRSV

What are you grieving today?

What do you notice as you recall the events of the lockdown and the last four years of your life?
How have things changed for you?
How are things the same?
Did you lose anyone to the disease or because of the pandemic? What were the losses you experienced? Have you taken time to grieve these?

Pray for people you know who lost someone.

What has changed for the better? What have been the gifts since Covid lockdown?
Take time to reflect with Jesus on what you’ve learned and how you’ve changed. And take time to be thankful.

What are you grieving about our world right now? What is breaking your heart and causing you pain?

Let Jesus hold these tears for you!  GOD HOLDS OUR TEARS!

god holds our tears

god holds our tears


Take out a Cup and a pitcher… Fill the pitcher with water..…imagine the water is the tears you’ve been crying…for your country, your city/town, your family, our world, your self, the losses, the waste, all the things you cannot fix or control. All the things our are grieving.

Pour out some water into the cup! Now give that cup to Jesus to hold. Let Jesus hold your tears.  Keep a pitcher and cup somewhere in your house to remind you that God is holding your tears.

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4

I am grateful that GOD knows our sorrow and understands our pain. I am grateful that Jesus understood loss and wept for his friend, and got angry at injustice!  at the end of Psalm 56 we are reminded…

God, you did everything you promised,
and I’m thanking you with all my heart.
You pulled me from the brink of death,
my feet from the cliff-edge of doom.
Now I stroll at leisure with God
in the sunlit fields of life. AMEN

Take time this weekend to stroll outside. Stroll with God…let God comfort you in your pain and refresh you with the beauty of nature. Remember that you are greatly loved and you are not alone. And in honor of St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday, an Irish Blessing Song. If you remember, there were many blessing songs that came out during the Pandemic. One of the gifts of technology that kept us together!

You can download a free resource to help you pray through Holy Week, Using your Coffee or Tea Cup.

@lillylewin and




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