Today I’m feeling guilty because I have no good reason to be sad and worried—my family is well; I have food to eat, adequate toilet paper, and the internet is working. But, I’m sad and worried anyway. Like the rest of the world, I’m ready for covid 19 to be contained or at least held at bay. I don’t want another day to begin with news of higher death numbers and health workers in dire risk.
Going for a bike ride on a windy day, I wore a paper mask to protect myself from allergens in the air. My twenty-minute trip was miserable because it was hard to breathe behind the mask. Safe in my house, I removed the mask, and my face was as wet as if I had been in a sauna. I couldn’t help but think of the first responders and health care workers who wear protective masks (if they have them) all day long. Not only are they working under critical stress, but they are likely miserable under all the paper and plastic.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 reads, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” The world is experiencing loss—a lot of loss. The five stages of loss include Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Depression, and Release. I am in the season of complaining and stuck in the normal anger/depression stages of the loss cycle. The scripture confirms it is normal, and the stages of loss help me understand the process.
How are you doing? Are you allowing yourself to be normal, or are you carrying a perpetual smile and feeling the need to be positive and uplifting? One thing I noticed wearing the mask was nobody could tell if I was smiling when I said, “Good morning.” Patients, not allowed visitors in hospitals, can’t even see smiles, few as they probably are, behind the caregiver’s masks. Can you wrap your head around being near death, far from family, and only seeing people’s eyes. I can imagine fear and confusion. I can also imagine searching in the eyes for an ounce of hope. The scene reminds me of war movies from another time and place. It’s not—it’s our current globe.
I’m not going to bore you with the root of my anger and depression, but I am grateful we are not communist and can still honor the First Amendment. Without accurate news, our state of wellness would be more broken. At least we have information on how to respect and protect ourselves and others.
Our resiliency shined strong during the past Easter weekend. I was awed by the heart of America, and I continue to pray for a sense of renewal.
Are you allowing yourself to be normal? How are you doing? There is a time for discouragement.