Times are strange right now, for lack of better description. As our world begins to pick up pace again, we are preparing ourselves for an introduction of new normalcy. It’s both scary and inviting, this transition. It’s fair to assume that this lengthy isolation has welcomed both good and bad changes into many of our homes.
For many of us, this has served as a time of self discovery, of rest, extra time with family, redevelopment of our prayer lives, refocus on taking care of our bodies, connecting more with our spouses and friends we have lost touch with in the swiftness of our regular lives, and the discovery that somewhere deep down, we all have a little bit of barista in us. But, for others, this time has presented room for fear and stress to take over. Those suffering with anxiety, depression, or mental disorders may have found it hard to allow this time as a relaxation or development period. Rather, fighting a constant battle with themselves about how exactly they are supposed to react and feel. This time has heightened loneliness for those of us without close family or significant others, and probably assisted in one too many dating site swipes, or texts to the ex.
Families have lost loved ones, many without the chance to say goodbye, because of the strict regulations having to be set in hospitals, for our safety.
Parents are questioning whether to share their need for a break from their kids, for fear of the pain it might cause those who have yet to experience the blessing of babies, and who might be yearning for the cries and messes that fill your days.
Essential workers are exhausted, continuing to work beyond normal hours, separating themselves from their families for the sake of keeping us all safe. Non-essential workers are struggling to cope with the fact that they can’t do their jobs right now. Many have dancing thoughts continuously questioning if their business will even be able to reopen or survive. Others have been hit with the total loss of their jobs and livelihood.
This week has marked the process of reopening many businesses. Some of us are yearning to sit down at our favorite restaurant, to sink our teeth into deliciousness made by someone other than ourselves. To sip our morning coffee with a close friend across the table at our favorite coffee spot. To get our hair done, worship inside our church building, hit the gym, or watch a movie on the big screen. On the flip side, some of us do not agree, and plan to wait another several months before even considering the idea. We plan to stay home, and continue in the processes mentioned above until we feel comfortable to step outside, wondering if we will feel safe again any time soon.
What I’m troubled by with all of this, is the way we will all treat each other as we make this shift. I fear that some of us might forget to practice humility. To be patient with each other. That we might open up a whole new level of hate, and of judgement. That we might lose friends, and create enemies, while pushing aside a lack of understanding.
I find myself surrounded by friends from many walks of life, even before this pandemic, but, throughout it as well. I know people who are living through all the things mentioned above, handling this time in each of those scenarios. But, what I have found in myself is a great bit of compassion. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fair share of judgey days, in which for a moment, I lose that disposition, and I have to step back to find it. At the end of the day though, it’s all I hope to find in all of us, that compassion, and understanding. In those moments that we feel filled with anger at how others may be reacting, I hope we can step outside of our box, and look in theirs for a moment, that even in disagreement, we might find a bit of consideration, that we might question why this scenario might be better for that person. That we might be modest in our judgement.
What I pray for the most is that practice of kindness. I was never the most popular, nor the least. Some days I joined the table of misfits, other days the table of those most well known, but regardless of who was seated around me, I always believed it was cool to be kind. I hope we might all live by that motto during this trying time.