Life seems to be full of lions and lambs, lately mostly lions. Unfortunately, fear seems to have a grip on the world’s functioning and living. It seems to me, this would be a tendency during a world-wide pandemic, at least initially. As time has gone on, we’ve learned more about this virus and how it affects the human body. At the same time, it seems the more we learn the more this frustrating virus mutates. We, Americans don’t deal well with anything we have to “maintain”.
Our culture demands immediate viable solutions so we can move on to the next thing. Over the years, it seems we have developed a culture that honors the individual over the many. We value the strength of character that can pull oneself through just about anything that comes along. Those who need more help tend to be regarded as weak, the assumption is that somehow they didn’t or don’t measure up and therefore are in their situation. We’ll help initially but there seems to be an invisible timeclock that says if you need more help than this you’re on your own. We tend to move on to other “things” considered more important.
Years ago, my ministry and I were disregarded by a local leader as a “just a do gooder program”. Often this is the general attitude toward those who hang in there with the many who are struggling to recover, heal, put their lives back together following a crisis of one sort or another. Yet, this is what it means to be Christian, to hang in there, encourage, assist, and love one another in real life giving ways. In fact, this is what it means to be true to our humanity.
We were created to be in continual relationship with one another, self and God. Life giving relationship demands that we hang in there with one another. Sometimes it’s something as simple as wearing a mask to protect others from this deadly virus we could possibly be carrying. Sometimes it’s about volunteering with a smile, week after week, at the food pantry so our neighbors can eat healthy foods. Sometimes it’s about calling on the single person in the neighborhood to make sure they’re ok. Always it’s about creating ways to give love away even to those who don’t seem to deserve it.
We will NEVER go back to the way it was. We need to mourn this now and begin to take inventory of the lessons we’ve learned since the beginning of 2020. Why can’t we go back? Simply because we are NOT the same people. We have a brand new experience under our belt that has brought the opportunity for us to grow and learn from successes and failures over this time. So the future will benefit from our learnings, that is if we take the time and honor ourselves and one another enough to grow. This isn’t something we can do without thought or intention. We must forgive ourselves and others to move forward. Holding resentments will only take away our life, resentments do NO good. Forgiveness is that pathway forward. Forgiveness does not take away accountability, it simply releases the forgiver from the need to exact revenge on self or others.
This work, this walk forward is no easy task. And just because it’s “forward” does not leave anyone behind to fend for themselves. We move forward together; step by step. This move forward take courage, the courage of a lion with the heart of a lamb. The temperament of both and the love of God. May we find our way together, may we share words of encouragement effortlessly, may our hearts grow to guide our lives in life giving ways. May we be all God created us to be together.
Shalom – Pam