What Would Norma Do?

Norma served in the Army Nurse Corps
in World War II,
long before we met.
I wish I’d known her then, but I wasn’t even
a thought in my parents’ minds when she
enjoyed her prime.

Norma was a dear friend, a confidant,
a prayer warrior with grit and faith
that ran deep as the Mariana Trench.
Her wisdom may have
rivaled even Solomon’s.

Norma went home to be with her Savior
almost five years ago.
I miss her.
In this time of global pandemic,
as the world fears the worst
from COVID-19,
I wonder to myself
what wisdom Norma would impart
if I could ask her.

What would Norma do
faced with this current world crisis?
What lessons from her time in the trenches
of World War II Army hospitals
would she share with me?
If only I could ask.

Truth be told, I don’t need to ask.
I spent enough prayer meetings, lunches,
church services, and retreats with her
to know exactly what she would do.
What she would say.

Do not be anxious about anything, 
but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
Pray and give thanks.
That’s what Norma would do.
And her heart would be at peace.

Always remember, Norma would say,
God has not given us a spirit of fear
and timidity, but of power,
love, and self-discipline.
We all have a choice to do the right thing
and think of others first in love,
trusting God is in control.

Norma would stand
upon the promises of God.

The promise of Psalm 23 that
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.

God’s promise that
I know the plans I have for you . . .
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.

Jesus’s promise that
surely I am with you always,
to the very end of the age.

There are other promises
right at my fingertips,
hidden in plain sight in God’s Word.
Promises Norma would recall by heart
if she were here.

Norma would also remind me
that even King David feared,
Elijah despaired,
and Jesus wept.
That in these uncertain times,
just as in chaos that’s gone before,
emotions will befall us.
But they don’t have to rule us.

David defeated Goliath in spite of fear.
Elijah continued to prophesy in spite of despair.
Jesus endured the cross
because He so loved the world
that our suffering brought Him to tears.

So what would Norma do
if faced with the coronavirus pandemic?
She would pray,
thanks those who are on the front lines,
tell fear and panic to take a hike,
obey the CDC recommendations to stop the virus’s spread,
and trust that God is here in our midst.

We must learn from those
who have gone before us,
the wise ones who share their faith.
I believe that’s what I’ll do.
How about you?

*Philippians 4:6 NIV.
**2 Timothy 1:7 NLT.
***Psalm 23:1 NKJV.
****Jeremiah 29:11 NIV.
*****Matthew 28:20 NIV.

Linda L. Kruschke is the author of My Name Is Beloved, winner of the Unpublished Memoir category of the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest, as well as a self-published author of two poetry books. She is a wife, mother, active member of her church, former Bible Study Fellowship leader, and recovering lawyer. She works as the Director of Legal Publications for the Oregon State Bar. But her real passion is sharing God’s healing grace with others, especially those haunted by sexual trauma and abortion. She struggled with major clinical depression for many years, but through the power of forgiveness has become a fearless follower of Christ, living in the assurance of her salvation and God’s love. She blogs at Another Fearless Year and Broken Believers.

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