The Sunflower Diaries: If Only People Knew How I Really Look

selective focus photography of assorted flowers
Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Pexels.com

I originally wrote some of this post on Wednesday, March 26, but I never published it because the tone is a bit different than what I usually write, and I wasn’t satisfied with the style. Does anyone really want to read most of what I’ve thought about and done for the past few days? I’m not sure, but I’ll share anyway.

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Currently, it’s Saturday morning, and I’m typing this while eating my lunch for breakfast. I made chicken salad yesterday and created an open sandwich. I decided to eat that again. In a moment, I’m going to make a cup of black tea, into which I will put a lemon wedge and honey. (I wish I had purchased an extra honey bear because he’s more than half gone. I shall ration because I don’t want to go to the grocery store for at least a week.)

This brings me to one thing I’ve been pondering about: how different I look when I am around the house compared with when I’m out and about. I once heard a story about someone who saw Oprah in public without her makeup on and with her hair in a crazy state. She said, “Oprah? Is that you?” I laughed when I heard this story, and it still makes me chuckle to myself, but this story is also my reality. Someone might see me with my hair looking slightly crazy and no makeup on and say, “Rachel? Is that you?”

I would not be able to deny it.

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In my previous post, I stated that I would try to see how long I could go before I drove somewhere. I failed. Yesterday (Friday, March 28), I drove to Home Depot because my sunflower seedlings (hence the name of this series) are toddlers now and need their own big-kid beds (today’s project). To help them thrive in their big-kid beds, I need composted cow manure, so I ventured to Home Depot.

For a state in which all non-essential businesses are closed, there sure were a lot of people out and about. Home Depot, which as you might deduce, is considered essential, and was very busy. If it weren’t for a random distribution of employees and customers who wore masks and/or gloves, and the tape employees added at the cash register queues to distribute shoppers at safe social distances, it probably would have felt like a normal day at the home improvement store.

There were a lot of cars on the roads, too. I don’t think there were quite as many compared with a typical rush hour, but it definitely didn’t look like citizens were sheltering in place due to pandemic flu.

I’d like to think that people were just like me: they needed that extra something (e.g., composted cow manure) so that they could continue their quarantine projects. But I doubt that’s the case for everyone. I think people are bored and don’t know what to do with themselves, so they go to the only exciting stores that are open (i.e., Target, Walmart, Home Depot), wander the isles, and buy stuff because staying home is hard to do.

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Wednesday was the opposite of Tuesday. On Tuesday, it rained all day and the sun didn’t even show its face. But on Wednesday, the clouds cleared early, and for most of the day, I saw the sky. The contrasting forecasts remind me of 2020, which has become a peculiar juxtaposition of events. It is nearly April, and while good things have happened in my life and the lives of my friends and family members, many strange things happened as well, particularly on a global scale. COVID-19 is our present horror, which quickly overshadowed the unprecedented locust crisis in Africa and the fires in Australia. (In fact, the news doesn’t report on anything except COVID-19 these days.) Such a contrast of personal and world events makes me wonder about how I am supposed to feel.

To be continued…

4 Comments

  1. “Such a contrast of personal and world events makes me wonder about how I am supposed to feel.” I couldn’t say it any better, and all I have heard lately are people who have a wide variety of theories as to why these things are happening. Christians are saying God is doing this and doing that and it’s all confusing. Is it a sign of the end times? Is it possible to have worship service online and it still be considered the same as believers gathering together? Will that become the new normal? These are strange times indeed.

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    1. Interesting/good questions (to which I have no answer, though I wish I did). I heard a pastor speak about that recently (how God is doing it), and he disagreed. (I’m assuming that God being behind something means it’s a sort of punishment?)

      Sometimes, I wonder if it’s important that we figure out whether God is or is not behind something. I wonder if our response to the circumstances we face is more important because that response is a reflection of our faith (or lack of it).

      I’ve heard people say this is a sign of the end of the world/end times, too. Times are certainly strange, but I am sure people felt the same way with the Civil War, WWI, WWII, the Great Depression, and the Black Death, and those events were a million times worse than COVID-19.

      I’m not sure if I can support this with scripture, but the end of the world/end times reminds me of death. In a strange sort of way, we’re all dying because day after day, we’re getting closer to that point in which our bodies will waste away (assuming that we die a natural death). The earth, in a way, is like that as well. It’s wasting away due to human influence and natural and biological catastrophes until the point in which the Lord comes back.

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      1. 1 Peter says, “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away”, so that is true. I always question when people say God is the reason something happened, because that seems that undermines free will. You’re right, the consequences of our own choices are why things happen the way they do. I don’t believe that God is stringing us along like puppets directing our choices. That’s why the world is wasting away like it is. This COVID thing is said to have started in China when a human and a bat interacted (or something like that).

        Our faith response is the question we have to answer in our generation just as they did in the tragic events of the past. I have mixed feelings now about the virus because I’m not really sure what’s true and what’s not. The media makes mountains out of mole hills on every story they tell for ratings (money), so I don’t know if I agree with how the Church is responding. Churches are closed, but the liquor stores are “essential” and still open and the church says nothing.

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  2. The response of the Church was/is what caught my attention as well, though God still has some remnants. There are some who stood up and perhaps caused to overturn such rules. Now at least in some states, including Florida (after one pastor in Tampa FL was arrested for holding church services, which became a national news), churches are deemed “essential”.
    I agree with your assertion: “Our faith response is the question we have to answer in our generation just as they did in the tragic events of the past.” We may debate what and who is behind this virus (God, human, Satan…), but how we (believers individually and the body of Christ—the Church—collectively) respond to it is the test of our faith.
    Does God have sovereignty over what is going on? The answer to this question, I believe, determines one’s response in accordance of his/her measure of faith.

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