As I sat home day after day in quarantine, I began to think about my blessings. To be perfectly honest the one that kept popping into my head was how lucky I was not to have young children. I was living in a house filled with twenty-somethings – which presented its own challenges every day – but I did not have young children to accompany on this scary journey. All I could think about was how do you begin to explain this unprecedented situation to children? What words or descriptive language would help them understand a pandemic?
Professionally our office helped people virtually get through the rough spots. We held online book clubs, rosaries, faith sharing, and enrichments and sent out prayers and a Daily Dose of Happiness to keep our adults afloat. We had virtual breakfasts with Catechetical Leaders across the diocese to try and encourage and motivate them so that they could in turn do the same for the parents in their parishes. It was a never-ending cycle; it seemed like the more we did, the more that needed to be done. We were a drop in the proverbial pandemic bucket.
With this happening, I still had a nagging desire to make sense of the senseless for our children. I wanted them to know that God was right beside us, going through it all with us. As a parent and teacher, I wanted to reinforce to our children that God is present in even the messiest of situations. Our children needed to be reminded of God’s unconditional love and mercy – His greatest gifts to us all. With this in mind, I wrote a children’s story entitled Matthew, God and the Corona Virus.
I wrote the story in one evening hoping to help children understand what God’s love and mercy looks like in the midst of a global pandemic. The story looks at a child’s ordinary life circumstances and how his reality was turned upside down. The main character Matthew is a little boy who has faith and goes to Church with his family and friends. He is very familiar with God and His love for all of us. What Matthew does not understand is how the God he knows and loves is letting this pandemic happen. Where is God during the Corona Virus? This is a question that many of us adults, as well as kids, have asked.
The rest of the circumstances surrounding the publishing of the book all involve divine providence. I never expected the book to make it to publication. As covid raged on it seemed less and less likely as more and more roadblocks appeared. But God is great all the time and in May of this year it was published. My dream of helping children better understand God’s love for them became a reality. As the memories of the pandemic, quarantining and vaccinations start to fade from our memories, I pray that Matthew, God and the Corona Virus will be a pleasant reminder of all the blessings that God bestows upon us, especially at difficult times.
By Andrea D. Hoisl
To purchase the book, click on the link: Amazon - Matthew, God and the Corona Virus