By Connie Denney
A pandemic overshadowing us all—surely there is a column in there somewhere. Yes, but where does one start? Think about the statistics in light of human suffering. Define a context for circumstances so foreign to us. These pose questions demanding consideration with physical, mental, emotional and spiritual implications.
Little did we know as we welcomed 2020 that the year would distinguish itself among us all—collectively and individually. Even once we became aware of a virus with a name the general public would not have associated with sickness, it was a distant awareness.
All too soon we knew to take the coronavirus very seriously. We came to know it more specifically as COVID-19, a killer of people in other places. If it was an invisible enemy, its results were not. As the situation evolved and illness rushed through American cities and rural places, we looked for leadership and heard about responsibility and authority.
As our vision focused, what became clear was that the context was/is here and now. The word “essential” earned a much higher rung on the everyday language ladder. But, “essential” was not an honorary title applied to businesses and workers. Health care workers, Wal-Mart employees and many others learned in real time what it meant to be on the front lines for our safety. We cannot thank them enough, only hope our sincere gratitude tempers their tiredness and fear.
As we have responded to the need to stay at home for our own and others’ safety, we have had time to consider “essential” on an individual, personal level. Certainly, I, for one, know I have a lot for which to be grateful. Not just for now, but always we should not take for granted daily blessings. Having enough good food to eat is a basic one—having good food all the time without worry about whether it will be available tomorrow, or next week.
Technology, for sure, makes it possible for us to stay informed regarding what we need to know to stay safe. We can find entertainment on devices of our choice. Also, we can listen to our own pastors’ sermons. We have ever-so-many means of communication. The challenge is to be sure each we choose is an additional one, not a replacement for another, such as personal conversation (but, that’s a whole discussion unto itself).
Let’s decide to find reasons to be grateful. But what of those whose supplies are low, whose days were already lonely or unhealthy, or filled with responsibilities they were not prepared to meet? Or, those threatened by geography—simply by where in this world they happen to live?
This pandemic did not create all the above questions. Nor will it answer them. It may be shining a new light on them. There is much to learn. The COVID-19 saga is not over yet. The story is still being written.
Be safe. Stay safe.