Life Happens Now
When Covid hit, Matt found himself working under one roof with his six kids and his pregnant wife, desperately seeking "projects" that provided an escape. Then, an invitation came.
Last March, our four children were sent home to complete the school year via distance learning. At the same time, my work sent me home to telework for an unknown amount of time, which resulted in the creation of my new office, consisting of a corner in our bedroom and my “desk,” a card table. In addition to my wife being pregnant and experiencing morning sickness every day (we had just found out she was expecting our seventh child, with two already at home), we were thrown into homeschooling and teleworking all under one roof. I could no longer leave the house for work and realized there were only so many “projects” I could complete around the house or in the garage until I had to be right back inside the house with everyone else.
It was much more difficult to escape crying, whining, fighting, and the constant needs that children will have. It was evident that in the past I had I avoided these situations and found ways to “stay busy,” especially when COVID first hit. With all the projects completed, there were two choices I realized I was left with: to find another project to occupy my time (and distract me from what was going on in the house) or to be in front of every situation, face to face, whether it’s crying, whining, or a simple request to put on a coat or get a cup of water.
I came to a point where I realized projects and busyness around the house only compressed the nothingness. It wasn’t until I started to look each one of my children and my wife in the eyes and acknowledge their needs, in each moment, that I realized that Christ had always been present and was constantly inviting me into a relationship in the simplest tasks and requests from my family.
Instead of looking past these small encounters and ahead toward completion of work or a project, I find my life being led and guided by an Other in front of the person given to me. School of Community has shown me that life happens now, not in my own projects and creations.
Matt, Fargo, North Dakota