How do I remain calm in times like these?
Has there been a moment more important than this one?
This election seems to be the culmination of the last year.
It’s not easy.
It’s not simple.
This virus has racked our nation with fever. We are raw from festering wounds nursed in silence, numbed by entertainment. There has been a quiet as we sit at home worrying for our family, our economy, and our neighbors. We have experienced panic in a pandemic leading to toilet paper shortages, travel restrictions, job losses, brutality in the streets and a deep mourning over the loss of Justice. It’s as though we have awoken from a dream to find our Nation in upheaval. Very suddenly, we have become uncertain for our children’s education, safety, and financial security. We are raw, tired, and distrustful.
Who will heal our wounds? From where does our deliverance come? Will we plan a vacation the same way again? Will we shop the same way again? We can’t worship the same. Perhaps the ‘same way’ was the problem. Our routines are long gone. Holidays, school, work, shopping, neighborhood barbeques, birthday parties, weddings, funerals, sports, and worship are all gone.
It’s not been easy.
It’s not been simple.
All those routines are gone because this has touched everyone and everything. A new routine has been our immediate family. We have spent more time together than we have in the past. We play games together. Work has intersected with our families. Business meetings have included the cries of our children in the background. Naps are opportunities to complete business tasks. Professionals tease about their own children playing at their feet as we conference through video.
Home improvement projects are on the rise. We have invested in our homes and our families. Neighbors wave at one another as they complete outdoor activities. Families walk together in our neighborhoods. Children ride bikes they have never ridden. More time is being spent outdoors as a family now that individual schedules of sports, activities, and jobs have ground to a halt. Dinner is made on a stove, the dining room table cleared for board games and meals.
The family has returned home.
We have shopped to change injustice. We have chosen to ask ourselves hard questions we ignored in the past. Are there inequalities? Am I part of the problem?
We have become creative as communities. We have found ways to support local businesses and one another through outdoor dining, promoting online, giving to those in need, protecting the elderly, and allowing them the opportunities we once hoarded for ourselves. We allow them to go first in line at the grocery store. We visit them through windows at nursing homes. We honk for birthday parties as we drive past. We send gifts in the mail. We share bags of gifts at doorsteps to remind one another we are not alone. We are working to value life over stuff. We are waking from our fevered dream engrossed in entertainment and the universe of me.
An election will not change the world. The government will not change the world. You and I alone hold the power to change our communities. We are being reminded we had the power to change our communities with kindness all along. Entertainment makes its money by dividing the haves and the have nots. It needs our division to survive. What will we accomplish by dividing? What will we accomplish by forcing others to our narrow view of the world?
The good news, healing is already here. It’s found in kindness, whatever is noble, whatever is good, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – it will heal our communities and our nation. Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of od which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:4-8).
It’s not simple.
It’s not easy.