In the fall, spring, and summer, all Oaks Online faculty have access to a theological and spiritual professional development unit. The three areas we cover are Spiritual Formation, Christian Education, and Youth Culture. This summer, we’ve had the chance to explore the ways in which COVID-19 and the quarantine have shaped and reshaped how we understand those three things.
In one discussion, our faculty considered the role that prayer and art have played in lifting spirits during this time. Research has shown that a deep longing for beauty emerged during the quarantine as well as a desire to pray for people who we could not share physical space with. Additionally, there was an unprecedented sense of solidarity (this has impacted everyone) while simultaneously a strong variety in experience (each household experienced quarantine differently).
In this discussion, faculty were asked to:
1) offer a written intercessory prayer on behalf of someone who is suffering differently than they are
2) take a photo of something beautiful that has provided peace and hope during this time.
Here is what one faculty member shared that we hope will be a simple, sweet, and meaningful encouragement to our blog readers—it sure was an encouragement to all of us!
Help me be sensitive to people’s emotional needs. Help me become more understanding and be able to help those who are depressed in a way that brings them closer to you. God I know this quarantine has caused a lot of mental distress to those who don’t cope with isolation very well. I pray that you would speak to them personally so they will experience first-hand, immediate peace from you, Lord. Amen
Reflections on Beauty: We live next to a lake and the walks around the lake have helped us stay sane during the quarantine. However, as I was going through my phone to find a picture of the lake, I see hundreds of pictures of my daughters. At that moment I realized that they are what actually get me to the next day. Seeing them grow each and every day and spending 24/7 together has been such a huge gift. Though I’m still extremely bothered by what’s going on, I’m thankful for these two angels in my life. So here we are.
Ling En Kang who shared these words and this photo teaches Chinese 3 & 4 at Oaks Christian Online and has been part of our team since 2018.