We decide how we live Post-Covid lives
Even though the county will officially move to yellow this week, you may be one of the angry people out there. After all, some lament, our rights have been taken away for too long! The argument goes that the government shouldn’t decide when this shelter in place bit should end and non-essential businesses should open. This is up to us!
I will tell you what—exactly—is up to us. How we live our lives when this pandemic becomes a memory will be ours. No one can order, mandate or write how this will be for us. We will do this collectively.
As 9/11 changed the world, this virus will present a similar outcome. In the wake of this heart-crushing, crippling time of great loss, what we do will be up to us.
We decide how this will change us. What will we carry when pocket-sized hand sanitizers go by the wayside? In addition to the masks, what will we let go? There are deeper questions. What will we remember? What will we value? How will life change?
On May 15, the CDC reported that 86,607 people have died from this virus. Globally, that number is 302,493. This tremendous impact will forever inform us, but again it is up to us individually and collectively to decide what we’ll do with this information.
Maybe we will learn to run less and listen more. Maybe we will learn to spend extra minutes with the ones we love. Maybe we will learn to appreciate the paper goods aisle in our grocery stores. Maybe we will remember what it feels like to send and receive a smile when not wearing a facemask.
There is much more to do, too. We should consider how we are going to mourn collectively all those who have died, and, in turn, salute all those who have experienced and endured such hardship because of social distancing and sheltering in place.
I wrote a moment ago about 9/11, which, of course, is an actual date. Understandably, this pandemic won’t have an “anniversary date” per se, but we cannot just move forward without looking back at what this pain and loss has brought and taught us.
These past few months have changed us as Americans and as individuals. This has certainly changed the church, the locus of this column. Having completed my dissertation on online worship a month ago, I propose we do not “just go back” to what was. As believers called to fish for people, we have experienced gains with sharing worship to those who are unchurched or consider themselves distant from a church via screens. This should not stop. If anything, how to reach the world with Jesus’ message needs to continue.
This window of opportunity God has given all of us to share our faith with others during this often harsh and always limiting time cannot be ignored, downplayed or marginalized. In the name of Christ, the value of gathering cannot be glossed over, or forgotten.
Instead, our worshiping and our connecting virtually must be discussed and considered. These new ways of sharing and living into the gospel message shouldn’t be far-off dreams but implemented into the reality before us when we are much more conveniently connected.
When this season upon us does become a memory, I pray we do not say, “I forget how bad it was.” Rather, I pray we continue to make what was so hard so affirming (if not beautiful) in our collective future. These lessons from loss can lead to greater love tomorrow. Let’s make this happen not just with intentionality, but heart.