There are many things that divide and separate us in these times; distance, emotional stress, lack of some basic needs, and the like. However there is one thing that we can all say that we have in common at this time, the feeling that nothing feels just quite right, in a word weird.
This feeling of weirdness, it’s a word don’t worry, is pervasive. We feel it as we wake up at random times in the morning due to being forced to work from home. Or for those you that are essential workers, perhaps you have to go in more often due to the needs of society; and you may or not even agree with that need. We feel the weirdness of not being able to go places that we want to go, such as the grocery store, the movie theatre, or even church. Instead we have had to replace these places of social interaction for mandated social distance. We have all had to have crash courses in Zoom meetings and Google Hangouts, when before a month ago most of us had never even heard of these communication platforms. We could go on and on, but it would not be conducive to our emotional health.
And this is the main point, our emotional health is what is really being affected by this crisis for the vast majority of us. Certainly for those who have lost loved ones to a disease that is unseen, compounded by the fact that we may not have been able to be with those loved ones in their final hours. And for everyone else we face frustrations and stresses, struggles and hardships and don’t have a healthy outlet for these emotions. Our families often can be the receivers of outbursts and its just not their fault, but we have no one else to blame. Weird, its all weird!
Ok deep breath. So what can we do to get through this time that our family is facing, no our city, no our country, no the ENTIRE WORLD! Here are 3 things we can do right now to help:
1. Realize you are not alone.
Everyone is going through the same thing. Yes we are all having to face this in different ways, but the whole world is for this first time in more than a century facing the same problem together. While is this awful, it can also be seen through the silver lining that you are not alone in this struggle. In these moments see yourself as a part of a global community and seek out ways to help all people.
We know that God loves all people, we have heard that all of our lives, but do we live like it? Do we give like it? Do we read about the news like it? Revelation 7 states that people will be before the throne from EVERY nation. Therefore we should have concern for EVERY nation in the present time.
2. Give yourself a break.
Seems simple, but we don’t do it. Realize that no one living has faced a struggle like this before, we are all new to this. Therefore give yourself some leeway to learn how to cope in the days we are facing. This is not a pass to be wrong or mean to those around us, but it certainly means we need to have grace for ourselves as much as for those around us.
The Lords prayer has the phrase “Forgive us our sins as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.” Realize the need to also forgive YOURSELF when you make a mistake, for if God is forgiving you, who are you to hold onto your sins and guilt.
3. Find and do something consistent.
It may be you read your bible in the same place at the same time everyday, or that you play a game with your kids everyday, or that you go for a walk everyday; whatever it is find something. Some sort of consistency of any kind will bring a sense of calmness in the midst of the storms we are facing.
Jesus would often go off by himself to pray, even though he was constantly being affronted by throngs of people wanting things and seeking his attention. He even seemed to take breaks from the disciples in these prayer times. Therefore have some time to yourself if possible on a regular basis and breathe.
We will get through this together. Give yourself and others some grace. Be still when you can and allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with peace.
God be with you.