January 13, 2021
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2
For the last 3.5 years since my son was born, my parents have been contemplating moving to Arizona, but have found it difficult to move away from their community and other family members. My dad has been mayor of my hometown in North Carolina for the last 14 years. Before that, he was always a huge community figure and known everywhere in town. He would have coffee “with the guys” every morning at the local breakfast joint and was always helping out (or was being helped out) with any house project.
That all ceased, of course, when COVID began its course. They didn’t fly out to visit us, they didn’t see many friends, my mom’s mom died (at 96, unrelated to COVID) and they felt lonely—like we all did. My parents finally visited my family at Christmastime and during the last days of 2020 made an offer—which was accepted—on a house in Mesa, 15 minutes away from us. If it weren’t for COVID’s alienating quality, I don’t think the scales would have at last tipped in favor of their making the dramatic life choice to move here.
I’m reluctant to say “Thank you, COVID,” but I am grateful that there seems to be something positive that we can find in this.
Dr. Jeremy Peterman