My family has a favorite movie that we watch every holiday season. It’s about a dad who becomes a snowman after he dies to help his son deal with losing him. It’s called Jack Frost and if you haven’t seen it–it’s worth a watch. Especially now while we are all stuck in our houses. My favorite scene in the movie is when the dad (pre-snowman transition) is talking to his son. He tells his son something or the other and the boy answers, “But Dad!” To which the dad answers, “Did you just call me Butt Dad?” At this point, everyone watching the scene in our cozy, holiday festooned living room will laugh quietly to themselves and says, “Butt dad.” Then my husband will sometimes add, “It gets me every time.” It’s one of the things that makes each Christmas our Christmas. Someday, I hope to hear my little grandson say it. “Butt Dad.” I can’t wait.
You are probably wondering why I am telling you all of this. I mean we’re all bored, but is that a reason to rehash lines from a movie made decades ago? Well, if you have been following my blog for very long, then you know my brain tends to get stuck on certain things. Weird things. And, this week, it has been stuck on that. That cheesy line.
I have been turning it around and around trying to figure out why it keeps popping up now. Yesterday, I finally figured it out. Or, God figured it out for me.
I was listening to a newscaster give never ending horrible news from behind a clear plastic desk in a studio somewhere. He was talking about how bad things are. How bad they are going to be. How the economy is tanking and nurses are crying and loved ones are slipping away with nothing but a FaceTime goodbye and a medical pronouncement from a doctor loved ones haven’t even met. That’s important. The part where you meet the doctor who later tells you you’re going to lose your loved one. A handshake. Noticing a spot on his tie. It all makes it more bearable. I can’t imagine doing it without it. Just a voice on a phone. It’s almost more than I can bear.
It was a lot for the newscaster too. He was very downcast. He looked pale and without any hope and I, sitting on my couch, felt the same. My soul was broken. I wanted more to do. Stay home? I’m doing that. Skipping Easter with my kids and grandkid. Done. Donate money. Got it. Clean my groceries before I bring them in the house? Weird, but on that too. I am doing everything they are asking of us. Everything. And, still, I want more to do. Can someone please give me an American sized to-do list? I want to affect change in this mess. I want to save us. I want to save the doctors and nurses. The old people who are alone and scared. The guy picking up my trash and bagging my groceries. My favorite restaurant. I want to do all of this, but I can’t. I just can’t. I’m not powerful enough. I am a peon with a peon to-do list.
Thankfully, blessedly, wonderfully He is much more up to the task. He can do anything. Everything. He can get us all through this. He can break our hearts for those who are suffering. He can call our attention to people who need a little extra help. A little extra time. A little extra money. He can grant super-natural wisdom to doctors trying to find a cure and super-natural patience to parents homeschooling. He can help us celebrate Easter this year in a glorious way that is stripped of tradition and rich with meaning. He can do it all and never break a sweat.
So, the next time you find yourself in front of a television with a newscaster rolling out a list of truly horrible line items that he or she wants you to take note of. I want you to stop and remember what is being asked of most of us. Not much really. Small, tiny things in the overall measure of what is happening. Stay home. Be kind. Open your wallet. Be present. A peon to-do list.
He’s doing big things. God-sized things. Things that will make us marvel later. The unbelievable timing. The providence. The amount of dedication and love shown. The compassion and charity given. How was any of this possible? How did it all happen? How did a country–a world even– full of peons pull it off? How was it even possible? It wasn’t.