Love in the Time of Covid-19

Dear Ones,

Wow, it’s been far too long since I last wrote. I’m sorry to have been so absent. How’s everyone? Hanging in there in troubled times?

Truth be told, I’ve been in a sort of self-imposed social distancing over the last year though it has nothing to do with Covid-19. I’ve always been ahead of the curve. Trendsetter. That’s me.

social distancing and introvert meme

 

In all seriousness, though, I wanted to write today to check-in, now, in the time of the Coronavirus. What an odd time it is, huh? We get new information daily on how things are progressing, what we should do, what we shouldn’t do. I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve seen on social media of empty grocery store shelves, people wearing masks, sharing articles and poetry and scripture. There’s some holiness in the call to isolation, stirred in here and there.

Often, that’s where I find comfort during this Lenten season, this season that already has a degree of isolation stirred into the call to holiness. What we’re asked during Lent is to become mindful, thoughtful, prayerful. I don’t usually panic until around Holy Week when I realize how short I’ve fallen. And even then, the panic is more regret than desperation. I’m working on the regret part. I’ve never found it to be particularly edifying in the moment.

You know, regret, though, does serve a function for us, maybe not in the moment, but later, upon further consideration. Each Lent dredges up that previous year’s regret, the “I wish I had”  list. And honestly, that IS edifying, if I keep from falling into the rabbit hole of remembering how poorly I do this faith thing so I can beat myself up, and instead opt toward the grace of God and the opportunity to attempt to do it better.

And that brings me back to Covid-19, my dear, wonderful people.

Yes, there are mixed messages. Yes, there is panic, desperation, fear. My question for us all is how do we keep that from becoming regret? Does an overabundance of caution to “flatten the curve” really mean panic or fear? I say no. I say that being overly cautious in this time is an act of love and care for people we may not even realize are at risk.

My head cold may just be a head cold but I’m still going to stay home this week from Liturgy because if it isn’t, it may hurt someone and neither of us would know it, would we? I don’t want to ever regret showing up to Liturgy. I always want that to be the safest place in my whole world. I aim to keep it that way so I’ll scrutinize my health every week. And I’ll not complain about my kids being home from school for two weeks or more while I’m trying to work at home to keep us afloat. And I’d say to anyone at all, that social distancing will not hurt our Lent or our community or our family of faith or our connection to Christ.

But rather, I’ll suggest that we assure that kindness, mercy, and love abound in our hearts and our hands and our thoughts and words and deeds. Sometimes, that means we worship together from our homes, or skip Sunday School or coffee hour. It’s temporary, my lovely ones. Let’s not contribute to spreading a virus that might cause permanent changes for other humans. Let’s iron out this curve with intention and honesty and love.

2 comments:

  1. Hello Angela. Thank you for this message and reaching out to people. My wife and I are on our second time of listening to your program, The Wilderness Journal, on Ancient Faith Radio.. We were baptized and chrismated Orthodox Christians on Holy Sat. 2018. The church we are part of is St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church in Langley, British Columbia. Our journey to Orthodoxy has been amazing. I admit it is a huge difference from our 40+ years of being Baptists. 🙂

    Since I retired a couple of years ago from being a chaplain in healthcare, I have more time to devote on my writing. I’ve been blessed to have stories published in two anthologies and a few articles in the magazine of the writing organization of which I am a member. With time I’m hoping I can write more like an Orthodox writer.

    Fear, frustration and selfoshness seem to have gripped many in our area of BC. Lord have mercy. WE look forward to liturgy tomorrow. I pray your cold is healed soon.
    Bless you and your family, Angela.

    Glory to God!
    Alan Anderson

  2. This was perfect!!! Our churches, schools, and public venues are closed down until the first of April. Be smart. If you’re ill, stay home. Shop for an elderly shut in or relative. Pray on the phone with people. But take this time to love the ones you are shut in with!! Pray more, read more, love more. So well said! Thank you! See you on the other side of this!

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