TOGETHER. That is the word that comes to mind when we think about this season of life. We hadn't planned on being all together right now as a family. Tim was supposed to be at The Master's University enjoying his second semester of college life, taking classes and going on adventures with his friends. The eruption of COVID-19 into a public health emergency meant that classes were moved to an online platform and dorms were emptied out for the rest of the semester. Our newly independent son had to come home. As much as Jason and I enjoy having Tim at home and involved in our day to day lives, we all felt the sorrow of that loss. This isn't how things were supposed to be. And yet, this is how things are. I recently heard about a man who was lamenting his current circumstances to a spiritual advisor in his life and after expounding on the difficulty he was faced with and the unfairness of it all, his advisor said, "This is your life. These are the terms. What is the invitation?" That is the question we are faced with as well - all of us. As we shelter-in-place and comply with social distancing rules and find ourselves unnaturally apart or together... "What is the invitation?" For the Ritzes it is an invitation to trust God more, to practice patience, to learn new ways of offering grace, to consider the plight of those who have to live secluded lives even outside of COVID-19 and to develop compassion, to stretch ourselves in how we can connect in new ways, and to consider what inputs available to us are most helpful and which need to be pruned away. Personally, I've found this a time where I am reminiscing about the past very fondly. Times of togetherness in different contexts are coming to mind frequently and with great affection. I am thanking God for experiences that we have had as a family when we were free to travel together (like in the picture of us above in Barcelona in 2019), times when we have had a house full of people to celebrate something, small group Bible studies, worship services at church, dinners out at restaurants when we stayed talking with friends and ordered dessert and coffee, not because we were still hungry, but because we didn't want the time to end. Until things return to a more familiar pattern of living with greater freedom and flexibility, may we greet each day by answering the question: "What is the invitation?" And may we find and pursue answers to that question that help us find purpose, and give us meaningful work to do in our personal lives, our families, and our community. We are all in this together.