"Welcome to My World!"

After years of ongoing substituting at her favorite neighborhood school, Mimi will be sitting out this school year awaiting a much needed vaccine. The "Number One Substitute Teacher" of our family has been sidelined due to precautions over pre-existing conditions and being in a higher risk age-group. Yet, we still have three active teachers in our family fully engaged in their academic trenches. These educators are leading their classes by remote.

Remote Learning
Fox Valley School District
School definitely has a different look during this Covid-19 Pandemic! It has a different language describing it, too! The other evening, I opened up the note's application on my phone in order to record some of the words our teacher daughter was using as she shared about her day with her mother. I couldn't believe how strange it sounded to hear her speaking the "language of Covid." 

Within a couple of minutes of conversation, these tech-specific words and phrases swiftly rolled off her tongue with amazing ease: device, remote learning, hybrid, preload, upload, download, channel (as in YouTube), cohort, synchronous (in real time), asynchronous (prerecorded), FAQ page, platform, link, app, Chromebook, self-pace, Zoom, log on, delete, and mute yourself to name but a few! I was typing as fast as I could!

I chuckled as I wondered what my dad's generation (he's ninety!) must think about all of this? I can say that school has certainly changed from when I was in elementary during the late fifties and early sixties! And that seems like a century ago! After an exhausting day of teaching her own fourth graders online and supervising three children (first, fourth and eighth grade) working on their assignments by remote, this daughter often exclaims, "Mom, welcome to my world!" 

It is interesting how language and technology terms often describe our lives. I have a few close friends that I try to keep up with who are using a completely different vocabulary to describe their lives these days. Their conversations are peppered with medically related terms: appointment, testing, biopsy, radiation, chemo, seeding, hormone therapy, picc line, port, thoracentesis, dialysis, scan, "magic" pills, pain, blood pressure issues, and side effects. These dear friends and peers are obviously concerned, noticeably anxious, and in need of prayer, encouragement and support as they deal with their treatment programs and challenging regimens. 

Those of us who are involved with a faith community are weekly drawing from the resources God makes available to us. We live by a glossary of terms that are anchored in the Word of God. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians summarized three powerful words from which we obtain our strength in trying times: "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love" (1 Corinthians 13:13a). John focuses our attention on another load-bearing word, life! Here is what the Lord has promised, "I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of" (John 10:10b, MSG). Faith, Hope, Love and Life! There is healing and help for the weary in these words!

We are doing more than just coping in this climate of uncertainty. Rather than feeling resignation, we are experiencing all the benefits of this abundant, eternal life right now, in this present moment, that Jesus has promised all His children. Come what may, whatever the challenges brought on by The Pandemic or unanticipated health issues, we can say with trust and hope in God, "This is our life! A gift! Abundant and everlasting!" 

Let's enthusiastically and lovingly invite others, "Welcome to my world!" 

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com


  1. This is an asynchronous thunderous applause echoing over the internet - "Good word(s)!"

    1. Mike, this is a fabulous entry! I commend you for entering into the mysterious world of on-line learning for those who are re-defining what it means to be "going to school," particularly for our children. I appreciate you how you transitioned into the cardinal or "hinging" virtues of Faith, Hope and Love, nicely using the phrase, "load bearing words." Indeed, these virtues have the utmost strength to bear any weight that our human brokenness, hopes, anguish and joy can bring forth. I especially liked your statements on state of grace that is HERE and NOW. With great respect for the Rev. Billy Graham, I disliked his famed quote, "My home is in heaven, I'm must passing through this world." It is so deeply unfortunate for we Christians to deny what God did by creating a world he deemed "very good." By your saying, "we are experiencing all the benefits of this abundant, eternal life right now, in this present moment," you have witnessed to the incredible grace of a loving God. Catherine of Siena once said, "It's heaven all the way to heaven and it's hell all the way to hell!" Good writing Mike.

    2. Your reflections always make a pointed and fresh contribution to the discussion!
      I find them a refreshing and welcomed critique! Thanks, Dan!


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