During this period of social isolation, there is one member of his family who is thankful for quality family time.
by- Posted on May 11, 2020
There is one member of our household who is happy about quarantine: our dog, Gabriel. Gabriel is a two-year-old hound mix we got at a shelter in January 2019. We can tell he had a hard life. There are scars on his legs and he was terrified of everything when we brought him home. He’s better adjusted now, but he still monitors the door anxiously whenever one of us leaves the house.
No one is leaving much these days and Gabriel is flourishing.
Here’s his quarantine routine: Wake up, eat breakfast, go for a walk around the block followed by a treat. Head upstairs to our son Benjamin’s room for some early pampering. Benjamin is usually awake reading and he invites Gabriel onto his bed. Then it’s back downstairs to help keep the kitchen floor clean while the kids messily make breakfast. Afterwards comes a longer morning walk with the whole family to give everyone some fresh air before school and work.
The start of online school means it’s time to head for our daughter Frances’s room, where she has laid out a fleece blanket on her bed, perfect for dog naps until school ends after lunch. The rest of the day features variations on this pattern until evening, when the family gathers on the sofa for books and prayers. Why is it always one of the parents who ends up sitting on the floor to make room for the dog?
I have resented quarantine with every fiber of my being. And I have spent these weeks full of anxiety—for our family, my work, our nation and Kate’s and my parents, who are in assisted living facilities on the West Coast.
For Gabriel, nonstop time with family has been the cure for his worries. As life gets simpler, closer and more connected, Gabriel thrives. I have begun to wonder whether his perspective is the answer to my own anxieties.
Life with God is a relationship, and God likes relationships. Families are meant to be together. Time at home, hard as it is, is time living as God intended. Maybe Gabriel is not the only member of our household thankful for quarantine.
God, help me to accept what I cannot change and to remember that your priorities are always better than mine.
Excerpted from our new Free E-book
Moments of Grace: 17 Hope-Filled Devotions to Help You Through the Covid-19 Pandemic.