In these precious hours of time on our hands, day after day, there is a unique opportunity at our individual doorsteps. I’m just now waking up to it in a new way. Mindful of our scriptural preparation for pre-chapter and Chapter 2021, I have been reading about Ruth and Naomi, about Mary and Elizabeth. Since I feel that I can understand the Visitation story better than Ruth, I recently decided to think about my time here in Mingo Junction as time spent in companionship with Mary and Elizabeth. The biblical account is pretty straightforward with few details—just the facts. But I noted the simple verse: Mary remained with her about three months and then she returned to her home. It was the ‘about three months’ part that grabbed me—hearing daily news reports of scenarios about the immediate future.
As I continue to reflect on the days Mary spent in the hill country with Elizabeth, attending to her needs, helping with household chores, the more I realize that it’s really Elizabeth I am aware of. I am clearly Elizabeth in this duo, and as I begin to meditate on this truth, I recall the many ‘Marys’ who have been doing kind things for me over these odd weeks in my home cloister—my next door neighbor, Deana, who gets me groceries & sometimes dinner, then there is Karen (a former student of mine) who calls nightly, and still another Karen who brought Easter dinner & additional cooked meals. So Mary has been quite present to me in these strange days of Covid-19. She has not been sitting idle by the well or by the kitchen fire. And when Mary wasn’t assisting Elizabeth in some way, there was always Zachary who surely needed attention as well.