COVID Diaries: Grace and patience amid a pandemic |

COVID Diaries: Grace and patience amid a pandemic

Pastor Daniel Self observes one of the day’s events in Carbondale, the LIFT-UP food distribution outside the Third Street Center.
John Stroud / Post Independent 1

Editor’s note: This is one of three vignettes highlighting individual Garfield County residents as part of the statewide COVID Diaries project.

It was a lazier start to the day than usual for Pastor Daniel Self’s family. 

At 11:07 a.m., with 4-year-old daughter Selah on his shoulder, the lead pastor for The Orchard in Carbondale noted Colorado’s “bipolar” spring weather.

“It’s 65 and sunny one day, and you can at least get outside for a bike ride or a hike.”

But April 16 wasn’t a good day for bike rides, with sleet and snow taking turns giving the Roaring Fork Valley a case of the chills.

“Days like this are a little bit harder as we shelter with people,” Daniel Self said. “… it takes a lot of grace and a lot of patience.”

The morning included a flash-card school lesson between his wife, Amy, and son Elijah, who’s 7. After lunch, the kids watch a video, while the parents get some time to themselves.


Daniel Self prepares for a little “self time” after getting his daughter, Selah, 4, set up with a video.

Since Colorado began limiting large gatherings to slow the spread of COVID-19, Self has been pastoring from a chair in the corner of his bedroom.

“I lead prayer meetings from here, do counseling, Facetime with people … faith transcends circumstance, and people are finding faith and reengaging from their bedrooms and kitchens in the midst of crisis.”

A little before 2 p.m., Self drove into town. He grew up in Carbondale, where his father founded the church his son now leads. 

Self notes the shuttered storefronts on Main Street. Around the corner, cars were lined up for five blocks as their occupants waited for the twice-weekly food distribution offered by LIFT-UP, an interfaith relief agency.

“Crisis is clarifying,” Self observed. “There’s this incredible difference of experience people are having through COVID-19.”

Around 9 p.m., Self Facetimes with friends for a “pandemic pub,” something they do almost every evening. They share a beer and talk.

“When there’s uncertainty, there’s fear. So, the first thing is to partner with faith over fear. I also choose to partner with peace over panic … and with wisdom over worry.”

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