Monthly Archives: March 2020

Fareway has peanut butter on sale.

God knows science!

Apart from the faith-based networks and programs, I have not heard the words “pray” or “prayer” in reference to the Covid-19 pandemic on all the discussions about Covid-19.  In an earlier age, leaders would have called us to prayers. Presidents and governors called citizens to prayer and fasting in crisis times. I suspect some leaders are avoiding “pray!” to avoid being charged with “…doesn’t believe in science.” My concern is an implication that, “We and the scientists have got this.”

Update:  Our daughter said President Trump has called for prayer. I’m gladly corrected.

One of my favorite leaders in the NBA (whose family numbers 19 kids—biological and adopted)—said, “Don’t forget the Lord is in still in control.” Out of a good heart he said, “Just stay close to the Lord during this time.” I know what he means, but I’m not sure how a biblically illiterate world will understand. We have declared that Jesus is Lord. Is God in control? That is a legitimate faith-statement. We cannot forget we have an enemy who busy seeking to “kill, steal, destroy.”

We are inventorying our pantry and water supplies. (Peanut butter is on sale at Fareway for 99 cents—limit two.) We discovered we still have several gallons of water we stored for Y2K. The fresh part of fresh drinking water may have diminished. Some things are just not adequate—but we do what we can. I can assure you that…


Inviting Him into our journey doesn’t release us from responsibility or dismiss the role of health care workers and scientists.

We are praying against the virus, praying for all the scientists and praying for government leaders.

The root word for corona is the same from which we get “crown.” That might suggest there is a spiritual component. Fear is satan’s prime tool and seeks to make it our response or knee jerk reaction. So we pray against such a reaction. God is not the author of chaos or confusion. Life, not death, is His thing.

Stephen Mansfield issued his “Seven Thoughts On The Crisis.” Number seven is “Utilize your community.” That is a stark concern. Isolation and social distancing are key actions in fighting this virus. However, isolation by itself will cause serious health—physical and mental—problems. “Staying in touch” is foreboding, forbidden and healthy. The wise closing of churches is also removing our support systems. After cleaning your devices, use them to stay in touch and to hear God’s message.

I have a benediction to my children and grandchildren when they leave our house or sign off an email: “Lock your doors, use your seatbelts and don’t sleep in the subway—and have fun.”

Now to the serious stuff. Spring training has been cancelled, March Madness has been cancelled. No sports on TV. Is this the beginning of the Great Tribulation?

Be safe, be careful, be blessed.

Psalm 91



“This is a brutal and gnarly time to be a human.”

John Eldredge

We have a small birdhouse that served as home to a small, loud singing bird for a couple of years. He/she found better digs last year. The lease was picked up by sparrows. During the winter, a sparrow built a nest in the tiny house.

Several days ago, three grackles visited our yard and feeders. One perched on the front rail of the little bird house, looked inside and began tearing the nest out. The resident sparrow sat on top of the house and watched, but largely outsized he did nothing but pace. The grackle tried to get in, but was too large. I wondered if there were chicks, but this is not nesting time. Finally the home wrecker seemed satisfied and flew away and hasn’t been back.

Yesterday, the sparrow was sitting on the corner of the railing and obviously grieving, mourning—head hanging. I don’t always know what birds are thinking, but discernment of spirits was not necessary. That bird was hurting and discouraged. After a bit, she or he climbed into the house. Within a few seconds, another sparrow entered the birdhouse.

I don’t know what was going on inside. The couple may have finally gotten a room. But it was like discernment—I sensed that second bird just went in to be company for a grieving flock member. Or to help straighten up the place. It all happened in a few seconds. I don’t want you to think I’ve slid into bird-brain-ness. It sure was a Kingdom moment, for Carole and me.

An adult friend has recently received racial harassment. I had to question what “race” he is. He really is one of us. His skin is beautifully brown. I had never thought about that—he’s part of our extended family. I don’t know how to help him resettle his house.

These really are gnarly days to be a human—harder yet to live out Kingdom humanness. Even the best-intentioned words can sound trite or undo-able.

The coronavirus is a challenge. A preacher said that “corona” comes from the root word we also get “crown.” He seemed to know what he was talking about. (?) That pastor thinks it is a demonic agent to grab power and attention. How do we respond and react Kingdom-ly? Pray and wash our hands? Keep your hands off your face! Good advice and a tools to avoid illness.

I read that on average we touch our faces 23 times an hour. I can’t think without my left hand holding my head up. When I fret, I prop up my forehead with all my fingers. As I pause between these paragraphs I hold two fingers against my face. President Trump said he hadn’t put his hand on his face for a month—“…and I miss it.” A simple directive. Have you tried?

Paying attention for the drooping head is a Kingdom act. Eldredge says given the brutal time in which we live, “Feasting and celebrating are acts of spiritual warfare.” The mean birds—whether human or fowl—are about tearing things down. God’s Kingdom is about empowering, encouraging and building up. All possible when you sit with someone whose life is in shambles or headed that direction.

Kingdom living is the primary focus. I’m reading “The Gospel of Jesus as Simon Peter told to Mark.” I’m also focusing on Psalm One and asking what does it mean for me in a brutal, gnarly world?

“…Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come, The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news, (Mark 1:14b-15).

©2020 D. Dean Benton—wonderer, writer, witness