Cabin fever’s spreading like lies and misinformation in parts of the country. Some tote guns, wave signs and assorted flags to show their support for the President, and others to express their frustration with how things are. Everyone’s impacted, some more than others. Those of us with resources need to look for ways to help feed the hungry and support the most vulnerable during this health and economic crises. It’s encouraging to see creative and sacrificial ways many are doing this, exemplifying the best for the rest.
For those of us who live alone, and miss human touch and voice, it’s challenging to hold onto sanity, even for an introvert. We need to hug and be hugged. Some hungers are greater than food deprivation. I’m almost ready to welcome robocalls.
The world’s upside down, as a neighbor and friend recently reminded me.
“Old people are trying to sneak out of their houses and young folks are telling them to stay inside!”
Many long for a return to life before Covid-19. Bring back the familiar, normal life. The issue is, “normal was the problem,” said Dr. Dorothy Boorse, in last week’s Adult Bible Study. She’s teaching on Covid 19 and it’s impact on creation. Fascinating to Google some stunning visuals of before and after the great deceleration of normal days on this planet. Seeing is believing and breathing better, when it comes to climate change. To hasten back to normal is to do irreparable harm to people and this planet. So why hanker for what was?
Remember the story of the children of Israel on the other side of the Red Sea? They’d experienced some mighty miracles but sometimes miracles aren’t enough. They were sick of manna and before long, yearned for the good old days.
The story’s old, yet new.
“The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but manna!'”(Numbers 10:4-6, NIV)
That’s the problem with normal. It’s costly. We think all the food we enjoyed from throughout the world, tons of trash dumped into our oceans or piled atop or under the earth, energy greedily consumed, came at no cost , other than a statement on our monthly credit card. Worst of all, we undervalued and underpaid the ones who absorbed our costs with their lives, even children in faraway places, stitching with small fingers to provide the cheapest price possible for goods we didn’t always need but wanted.
God, I pray we don’t return to normal. May caring and kindness spread like a holy virus. I hope we’ll choose face to face mealtimes(no phones allowed) and be truly thankful for the food we eat. Not just grateful for the hands that bought or prepared the meal but for those who planted, picked, packed, drove it to market. We’ll remember to thank God for folks who unpacked, shelved, or stood on aching legs for hours to work a check-out lane, while wondering how they’d pay the rent or babysitter. It’s a rare clerk who hasn’t handed me the receipt, smiled and said, “Have a good day.” All I did was swipe my credit card, nothing deserving a good day.
Goodness survives in this world, often through names like Pablo, Maria, Aleksandr, Fabiola, Guadalupe, Widelene, Mateo and Katarina. Some undocumented. We need them, not for their service as much as their goodness. They, like we, are God’s image bearers in this world. Jesus called the poor, the meek, blessed. What do we call them?
Count me out of the push to return to the good old days. With tough choices, the best can be ahead, not behind. We’re called to work for the common Good. This is a Good day to begin and come November to add an exclamation point!
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