In a matter of a few days our world has transformed from one of unbridled confidence, health of mind and body, basking in the most prosperous days in human history to a world filled with fear, sickness and stress, with an economy in a crippling free-fall. Among the greatest woes is the isolation these times have necessitated.
Remember the days we grumbled when the sermon at church went a few minutes past our attention span, when we had to go to that staff meeting, neighborhood gathering, family reunion or yet another little league game or soccer match? How we would treasure a few minutes with our neighbors, church, team, extended family and community! We miss each other. We miss the life we knew only a few weeks ago.
As you may have read in Anthony Warren’s article, I had heart surgery scheduled this week to replace a degenerating heart valve. It was deemed essential surgery, but not an immediate emergency, thus postponed. How long will my heart keep ticking? How long will we be away from work, school, ball games, church, life as we knew it? All of us have challenges, challenges, questions, questions! Even the wisest among us have few answers to the myriad questions we are faced with in this so unfamiliar new world. One thing is for certain, as surely as winter has turned into yet another glorious Mississippi spring, so too will the winter of this calamity give way to a new spring in our lives. God, the Creator, is still “enthroned above the circle of earth” and reminds us:
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of truth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary and young men shall fall exhausted, but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40: 28-31)
In this season when our old lives are on hold may you experience peace and assurance that “those who hope in the Lord will be renewed.” Be patient, seek God in a way you never have before. (Most of us have time like never before). Like you, I look forward to one day soon when we are celebrating life with our families, friends, community, church and the world. Until, don’t grow weary, keep the faith! Stay well, seek our Creator in a fresh way, pray for the lonely, the sick, those incredibly brave men and women in the health care profession who are tending to the infirmed, our leaders in government, our clergy who are helping to provide spiritual encouragement in these hurting times. When you are feeling isolated and frustrated, turn that energy into compassion for others. Pick up the phone and call someone, put a note in the mail (yes, mailing a letter is still possible and can be done in 2020). If you don’t believe me about the mail, text or email encouragement to a friend, the hurting or those on the front lines. Such will help us all survive through, grow and live through these uncharted days. And again, keep the faith! See you on the other side!
Lee Paris is a Northsider.