Call – Opelika-Auburn News
Making the most of
days of isolation
The good doctor said, “You need to take
this medicine daily and remain in isolation for 14 days. You will be highly
contagious for the first 10 days.” With that she left my hospital room to visit
Easy for her to say. Not so easy for me
to do. But with my wife’s help (at a distance), I have been living like a
hermit in the back bedroom, growing a beard and trying to make the most of the
I have been consoled by remembering that
I am not the first person to be quarantined. Many others have spent much
greater time in isolation. Saint Paul wrote some of his New Testament letters
while holed up in a stinking prison. John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim’s Progress during his long imprisonment. And not so long
ago Martin Luther King Jr composed some famous letters from a Birmingham jail. So I figured at least I would continue writing
my column for the newspaper.
My confinement has given me time to study
the paintings on the wall in my room. When we are busy with the affairs of life
we only glance at wall paintings. This week I have gazed at them with profit to
my soul. The most delightful painting in my room is titled “Dance of Grace.” A
smiling Jesus is dancing in a circle with several children and you can almost
hear the music to which they were dancing. Mark Keathley
says his painting is not intended to illustrate a moment in the life of Jesus
but to depict the delight and celebration that Jesus invites everyone to join
in the present.
got up with my walking stick and danced around the room for a few minutes. It was
a fun moment that interrupted the monotony of isolation.
Another large painting that hangs over
the head of my bed is precious to my wife and to me. The painter used a palette
knife and striking colors to portray a spectacular arrangement of peonies. She
bought it “on time” when we were young and had hardly enough money to buy
groceries. After paying ten dollars a month for almost a year, she brought it
home and sheepishly admitted how she had obtained it. “Once I saw it, I had to have it,” she said. If
our house catches on fire, I know Dean will haul that painting out first and
then coming looking for me. I love the painting not only for its beauty but
because it reminds me that I am married to a woman who knows the meaning of sacrifice.
She was willing to eat sardines and crackers in order to obtain something that
has beautified every home we have lived in. But I still don’t care for
sardines. They make hamburger helper taste good.
C-Diff has given me time to read several
short stories: The Queer Feet by G.K.
Chesterton, Magnetism by F. Scott
Fitzgerald, The Man Who Was by
Rudyard Kipling, and The Other Place by
J. B. Priestley. But the best of all has to been to discover how relevant for
today is the book published in 1931 by E. Stanley Jones, The Christ of the Mount. Anyone wanting to reach people with the
gospel will find this old book a captivating read.
Three more days and I am done with this
isolation. And you know what that compels me to say: GLORY! + + +