Sadly, I have nothing humorous or light-hearted this week. For the last several weeks, which have turned into months now, our lives have been turned upside down. To say that things are not the way they used to be would be a gross understatement. Many of us have most likely looked around at particular things many times and said, “Oh that could never happen here.” Strangely enough, some of those very things have and are happening here. These are indeed strange days in which we find ourselves living.

I can’t find it within myself to call what we have been going through the “new normal.” I don’t find much normal about these days, and I don’t want this way of life to become normal. I refuse to call this the “new normal.” Instead, I choose to call it a “new abnormal.”

I hope and pray that many of the events of the past few weeks will never become the accepted in America. My heart is grieved over the cruel mistreatment and unjust behavior we have witnessed in our streets. No human beings should be mistreated in such manner. At the same time, I am deeply disturbed by the criminal reactions of some in response. As we’ve heard so many times, two wrongs never make things right. I pray for the day when we can and will treat one another not only as we expect to be treated, but more importantly, as God expects us to treat one another.

I’m also praying for the day when we hear that a vaccine for this terrible virus that has plagued our world has been created. I remember as a child eating a sugar cube that had a polio vaccine in it. I’m praying that something in similar fashion will be soon coming. I’m praying that places being closed that are a vital part of our lives will all open back up. I long for the day when churches and places of worship can be opened and filled with people without fear of spreading disease, sickness, and death. I pray for the Sundays when we can lift our voices in musical unison and harmony to God. I’m praying for the time when businesses can do business as they have done business for many years. I’m praying for those who have lost their jobs and their income to be able to return to work. I’m praying for our children and students to be able to return to the classrooms this fall. I want them to be able to sit beside other students with a teacher standing in front of them, rather than sitting at home staring at a computer screen for their education. I’m praying for a time when we aren’t afraid to go to the hospital when we are sick, or to visit those who are sick. I’m praying for the sick, the dying, and those who are taking care of them. I’m praying for the time again when we can properly pay our respect to those who have left us, and comfort the families who mourn.

As much as I have enjoyed more time at home and with my wife than I’ve had in a long time, maybe even ever, I’m praying for the time when we can also get out and go freely. I’m praying for a time when we don’t have to cover our faces. I’m longing to stick out my hand to another brother or sister, and to wrap my arms around the people I love, and maybe even someone I don’t even know.

I’m praying and I’m longing for the normal; not a new normal, and certainly not an abnormal. I’m praying for all this and more in the name of Jesus. Amen!

— Bill King is a native of Rainsville, where he and his wife graduated from Plainview High School. King is a director of missions in Opelika, a writer, musician and author. His column appears in the Times-Journal Thursdays edition. Visit brobillybob.com for more information.

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