As Covid drags on, we’re dying to get back to normal, but we have this sneaking hunch it will never be quite the same. The future is uncertain. Maybe a vaccine is near. Maybe they’ll find a cure. Maybe new stats will help us see it through fresh eyes. Whatever happens from here, normal will undoubtedly take on a new look moving forward. While we are understandably in a hurry to get back to normal, let’s pause for a minute and think about what we’ve learned.
Normal can change in a heartbeat. It sure did this year – who would have ever thought that “quarantining” and “social distancing” would become a part of our everyday vocabulary? Who could have predicted our country would teeter on the edge of a near economic collapse, endangering the very fabric of our society? Unforeseeable. Unbelievable. Life was turned upside down and we have no idea what normal is going to look like from here, but God does. He will walk the unknown path beside us. We are not alone, no matter what normal is or isn’t.
Nothing beats face to face. Zoom, streaming classrooms, and FaceTime are okay for the time being, but we were made to interact in person. It may be a while before we feel at ease hugging in public again, but we’ve figured out other ways to be present for one another, providing support and encouragement. We’ve dropped off care packages and participated in parades (all good), but we just want to be together again.
Is anybody listening? Flyboy and I have remembered the importance of truly listening and genuinely hearing each other’s heart. We’ve had some deep conversations and hopefully, there will be more to come. I’d even venture to say that we are closer than we’ve ever been, and the quarantine contributed to that in a good way.
Remember the children. What a hard time to be a child! Limited playtime with friends. Stuck at home for months on end. Doing school on a computer screen at home or wearing a mask and forfeiting recess on campus. Learning how to carry the 2 and feeling guilty for doing it the wrong way. It’s a scary time for our kiddos, and we need to give them the opportunity to be real with how they feel. An important part of raising emotionally healthy children is allowing them to authentically feel their own feelings (rather than telling them what to feel), and then helping them deal with those feelings in a healthy way.
A little grace, please. While we long for a more normal existence and feel forever stuck in 2020, let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt, grace in the moment, and ready forgiveness. We are all tired. We are way over it. We want to move on. But here we are, still in the middle of a pandemic, and we are all in need of kindness and grace and good will. Be the grace.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. — Romans 12:12 (NIV)