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Created for Community

Thinking about COVID-19 brings a few distinct memories to my mind.
I remember standing in front of the staff at my dental practice to tell them that we will have to close down indefinitely and trying to hide the concern in my voice. When the practice reopened after 6 weeks of mandated closure, there were mixed emotions in the air. The staff now needed to put on additional layers of personal protective equipment and the simple act of breathing became arduous behind the N95 respirators.
I remember the apprehensive look of the patients who reluctantly removed their makeshift masks made out of scraps of fabric to reveal their faces for the first time in public. Fear and uncertainty rang true in our conversations about the unprecedented times but what was also apparent was a sense of relief to be around people again. Some patients lingered beyond their appointed time to continue their conversation. They shared about their relatives and friends who succumbed to the virus. Many parents and teachers talked about their struggles with online learning. Some complained about being isolated at home while others celebrated not having to drive to work in traffic. Gone were the days of being rushed to get to their next planned activity, but now there was a powerful need to reconnect with another human being, even if it was a dentist.
I remember the first time my family returned to ABC for in-person worship after months of worshiping from home. I could not stop the tears flowing down my cheeks as I stood with others in corporate worship, albeit masked up and a safe distance apart. Even as an introvert, I did not realize how much I missed and needed to be with other believers. There was something powerful about standing in front of the same God and proclaiming His goodness together despite the madness that surrounded our lives.
In the Bible, it says God is always with us, but God also created community for us to be a part of. It took a global pandemic for me to realize that I need not seek to belong elsewhere when my community is right here in my own workplace and church. I have been blessed by the ABC community, especially the Women’s Ministry, in this season of my life. It’s not just when our interests align, but when we become more vulnerable about our struggles that we are able to point each other to God, who richly and continuously blesses us.

By Gloria Kim

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