It’s been five weeks since the quarantine began, since the phrase “non-essential work” took on a whole new meaning, and since parents developed a new appreciation for what happens daily in our nation’s classrooms. Our days are different. Much of what we took for granted is gone. For too many it was their job, for others there is no longer a commute; they work from the dining room or kitchen table. We no longer gather as families, or get together with the neighbors on a whim. Zoom, FaceTime and other social media venues enable us to see faces, but fall short of the emotional satisfaction that comes with a handshake or the hug you give your child or grandchild when saying goodbye. It would seem that our entire way of life has changed, and it has! But once again we are reminded of lessons learned; that when faced with a crisis we come together and exhibit something much more powerful; the triumph of the human spirit. The bigger question is, “Why does it take a crisis to bring out the best in us?”
Crises, emergencies, and disasters are not new to us. However broad scale crises are different from personal and family emergencies, and not just because they are larger in scale. A crisis such as COVID-19, that takes a toll on human life, is characterized by change, high levels of uncertainty, and complexity. In our current situation, people take in information, process information, and act on information differently than they would during non-crisis times. One of the most significant differences is the inspirational manner in which we see people mobilizing in a time of fear and crisis to help others. It becomes a powerful reminder that we have options. We can sit in fear, glued to the TV, lamenting our inability to pursue life as it was, or we can become a part of the solution.
How we respond during this crisis as individuals, families, businesses and communities will continue to define who we are, and how we are remembered. This crisis is unprecedented, and now more than ever it is imperative that we choose to be part of the solution, that we choose to be helpful. There will certainly be differences of opinion regarding the speed in which businesses reopen, restrictions are removed, and a sense of normalization returns, however in times like these, collaboration is key. There is work to be done and we know how to work. Let’s use what we have learned when facing similar challenges; to come together, put the needs of others first, and demonstrate the resilience, optimism, and hope of the human spirit.
Lord, we are getting tired and are wondering when this “race” will end. It seems like we’ve been running forever. Help us to stop trying to outrun our pain, and to run with this race with the endurance you have set before us. We know that because of you, we will ultimately be a victor over the trials in our lives. We know that nothing in this world can separate us from your steadfast love. Please give us a measure of your love today; give us the strength to endure this race. We thank you for your love that never ends! Amen!
(Adapted from the work of Adrian Rogers)