It’s officially day 9 of 24 hour quarantine lockdown in my country (Antigua).
Today I feel a bit somber. Usually today would be an observed National Holiday, Good Friday, in recognition of the day that Christ died on the cross. So, the fact that all work places are closed, except first responders and law enforcement, isn’t something new. But the stillness of the day with the complete lack of activity is really sobering.
Today, I really feel the somberness of not only the occasion but the atmosphere. All over I’ve been seeing memes that capture the irony of this week being the world’s worst in terms of the Covid-19 virus and also it being the worst in Christ’s life on earth. Even more ironic is that this week is usually referred to as Holy Week.
On this day, across our tiny island, the doors of every church is usually open for a service of remembrance and thanksgiving for the sacrifice Jesus made for all of us at calvary. Today, the doors of the church are closed. And although many churches are having online services, there is a unique togetherness that is usually displayed on Good Friday that cannot be accomplished online.
Today many households would be partaking in some of our national foods like ducuna (a sweet potato and coconut dumpling, traditionally boiled in a banana leaf that is to die for); saltfish (a salted and cure piece of fish that is usually “fattened” with seasonings, tomato paste and oil); and fungi – pronounced foon-gee (a cornmeal based food with okras boiled until very smooth and formed into balls until slightly firm); and Chop Up – a mixed vegetable saute usually made with spinach, egg plants and okras.
The chances of most people having these foods today is slim, including myself. Instead, today I had a breakfast of 1 pumpkin waffle (made from leftover pumpkin cake batter – recipe coming soon) and a peanut butter, banana smoothie.
For many of us we would be spending time with relatives, especially the elderly (since they make the foods best 😅). Many families would retire to the beach after church to picnic and relax.
But now today, families are separated, beaches are empty, and kitchen lack the wonderful aromas of our traditional foods. Sobering, very sobering.
Good Friday really is such a big deal in my country that the consumption and selling of all meats and alcohol is prohibited, in order to reverence the flesh of Christ that was so harshly beaten and to retain a level of soberness and clarity.
And with the knowledge of all of these things, today is one of the first days that I am truly starting to feel the effects of quarantine. I didn’t intend for this to be a sad post, yet with the solemn remembrance of my Lord’s death and the stillness of the atmosphere it would have been difficult to feign upbeatness.
I do wish though that today, and the knowledge of what Easter should mean to the believer will bring added comfort to us all. And along with that comfort, the peace in knowing that Christ Jesus loves each and every one of you and wishes a life of abundance for you and is always there; through the hills and valleys, the storms and stillness, sickness and health, joy and despair. Through it all he is still Lord and e is sitting at the right hand of our Father God, interceding and mediating on our behalf.
Take Joy Chroniclers. I love you all. Have a happy Good Friday and even greater Easter Weekend. ♥️