It seemed so long ago that we went about our daily routine: waking up, hitting the alarm clock, and yelling at the kids to hurry up, come downstairs and eat breakfast. You kiss your husband then make a mad dash for the car hoping to arrive at work on time. This was our daily routine; this was what we did Monday-Friday before life was interrupted.
Life was interrupted by a strange, silent killer called coronavirus. Yes, we heard rumblings of a coronavirus or as some of us like to call it, “The Rona”, from other countries that had been impacted by it earlier. We also listened as our leadership assured us that there was nothing to be worried about, until we realized there was something to be worried about.
Like a plague that swept over the land, “The Rona” was here in our own backyard. Our loved ones and family members were getting sick. Far too many walked into Emergency Rooms alone as we helplessly watched.
Nurses, doctors and other medical personnel are now risking their lives to treat a disease for which there is no cure. A shortage of PPE equipment symbolizes that our health care system is overwhelmed. Medical professionals are painfully aware that they are endangering themselves and their families each time they leave their homes headed for work.
We watch and pray while God decides to heal some of his children and call others home to glory. In the midst of this pandemic, we grapple for answers trying so hard to understand what is going on: life interrupted
Our students are no longer receiving a traditional education. Teachers and educators alike have been thrusted into remote learning, something that has never been done before. Restaurants, movie theatres, beauty parlors and hair salons, all the places that bring comfort to our hectic lives, are now closed by government order. We have been forced into isolation, confined to our homes with spouses and children. Social Distancing and the wearing of facial coverings have become the new normal: life interrupted.
Coronavirus has interrupted life leaving us confused and mortified. All the familiarities of our world, those things we value and embrace, were taken from us in the blink of an eye. As we turned on the news and looked at the number of cases, the number of losses, we saw what resembled a third world country. We no longer recognized our own world. We are living in a strange land, at a strange time. Society in this strange land has been equalized by the coronavirus. Regardless of social status or wealth, everyone is experiencing the same thing at the same time. We’re all in this together and no amount of money or influence can prevent coronavirus infection. For once we are truly “all created equal.” “The Rona” does not discriminate.
With over 30 days of social distancing, millions of people infected and tens of thousands lives lost, we find ourselves still searching for answers. Medical experts are still searching, the Saints are still seeking God through prayer, and nurses and doctors are still risking their lives; some paying the ultimate price.
I recall receiving a phone call about the loss of a friend. This was shocking news and quite surreal as this person was young. That’s when I realized that coronavirus had hit home. This loss, along with other losses that I continue to hear about, has caused me to take inventory of my life. I am reassessing what is important as I learn to let go of some people and some things. I am working to equip my mind for this new normal. Like many people I initially prayed that things would go back to the way they were. However, I have come to realize that things will never be the same. Our world will not be the same as it was before, nor should it be. I came to the realization that this pandemic did not impact our world for things to remain the same. If we are really going to learn and grow from this crisis then we cannot expect things to be the same. That expectation would mean that we did not learn anything while isolated.
I’ve begun to focus my attention on people doing extraordinary things; looking for the helpers. Those who make it their mission to donate equipment, feed our essential workers, deliver groceries, and make masks for essential workers. These acts of kindness bring up memories of the impact of 9/11, when people came together with one goal: to help each other through a difficult time. Each of us was our brother’s/sister’s keeper. I recall having that feeling and thinking, “I hope this doesn’t go away.” Sadly, it did and life returned to normal.
The impact of the coronavirus has been great; the lessons learned will be even greater if we choose to receive them. Are you taking the time to deal with the issues and challenges in your life? You know; the ones you’ve ignored for way too long like reconciling with your spouse or spending quality time with your children. Coronavirus has taken away our excuses and rationalizations and replaced them with time, space and opportunity. Time, the thing we always complain we never have enough of; space, now we’re isolated in the same location as our family; and opportunity, the perfect chance to reconnect and reconcile with loved ones, all this is now available.
I believe the thought-provoking question for us in the midst of this stormy season is, “What do we wish to accomplish?” The search for the answer to this question requires honesty, soul searching and prayer. Please do not waste this “perfect” storm. This storm arrived on our shores for a reason. The reason is unique and personally tailored to each one of our lives.
I pray for healing, peace, and most of all growth during this difficult season. We are being challenged, stretched, forced out of our comfort zones on the way to becoming better husbands, wives, daughters, sons and followers of Christ.