Updated: Aug 3, 2020
Since March, I have found myself muttering, “What in the cornbread heck is going on?!” Usually this is a phrase reserved for long days fraught with client emergencies, phone calls from families, and at least one or two wrenches that have thrown my whole day’s timeline into flux. But here we are, one million days into a pandemic, social unrest that no one can agree on if it’s even happening, ever more exposing of child trafficking (thank you Jesus for that last one), and within the first two hours of my day I’ve said it at least once. My family is from West Texas, and my dad has a never-ending supply of one-liners for any occasion. My colleagues and friends find these colloquialisms to be very funny, but they are generally good descriptors of what’s happening.
So, really. What is going on? And more importantly, what does that mean to you and me? Before you nod off at another self-care of blog about “how to take care of yourself in the midst of a pandemic,” hear me out. In my humble (and well thought out) opinion, we need each other. I keep coming back to the thought of community and the languishing that takes place when we are not able to be in authentic relationship with other people. We were created precisely for that. Is it any wonder people are losing their ever-loving minds? People are LONELY. We are lonely for face-to-face interaction. We’re lonely for grandchildren and friends and at this point, people we don’t even like will do.
What does community look like in a pandemic? Does it look like zoom calls (gag, but they’ll do)? Does it look like driving over to a friend’s house and sitting in the ungodly heat having some sort of cool beverage in the driveway? If you aren’t immune compromised, does it look like slowly re-assimilating into life? Call it controversial, but we have to do something. Our mental health is beyond taxed and long term affects of that are physical health struggles. We cannot give up on each other and the relationships we’ve created. It’s harder in the pandemic, but I would suggest that connection is more important now than ever.
I’m not proposing we all throw 100 person parties. I’m not saying that we should throw 10 person parties, but I am saying that we have got to reach out to each other during this time. We have to call each other, FaceTime, send letters, edible arrangements, or drop dinner off on someone’s front porch. Mainly, we are going to have to go out of our way to remind those around us how loved they are and allow others to remind us of that as well.
Relationships are the bedrock of humanity and without them people literally die. Who are you loving well? Who are you reminding that their presence matters? Are you reaching out to others and risking emotional vulnerability? It’s so easy to complain about how hard all of this is, and no one would blame us for doing so, but I’m suggesting we take a chance and get outside of ourselves. Whatever that looks like for you. In whatever way honors your feelings of safety. I am asking us to think outside of the box of traditional community and find a way to love those