I confess, I’m feeling as if I might be suffering from PTSD and the war is not even over. This is cause for concern. Isn’t this PTSD supposed to happen after the traumatic event is over and is safely in the past? (that’s probably why the “P” in this acronym stands for “post”, meaning after) Maybe I am just a little battle weary, longing for the pre COVID-19 life I used to live. Maybe you are too?
I feel like a war time correspondent, writing to you from my bunker behind enemy lines. I am in the trenches, (more like a deep pit) and am left to wonder if my words are making their way out into the world. And if so, what kind of a world has it become out there? – while I have been holed up here in this bunker (well really more like house arrest) waiting and writing and wondering who is winning this war? COVID-19 or the human race?
Rumors run rampant as they always do during wartime. I hear the people saying the end time is near. Could this be true, I am wondering? Then I read these words in Luke 17:26-30,
“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.”
At these words I breathe a sigh of relief. This is not the end. There will be more time with those I love, more time for reconciliations of all kinds, more time for people to come to know God’s love. But why do I say this?
Luke said, in those days people were going about their business as usual, they were living their lives and that’s how it will be when the end comes. We are not going about our business as usual right now. We are not living our lives. No one is marrying or being given in marriage. (no group gatherings/no churches or other venues open/no restaurants available for food etc.) We cannot even assemble to bury our dead and celebrate their lives with others who loved them.
Our lives are on hold right now. We are awaiting permission to resume them, to take them up again. We are waiting to travel to see family and friends, to hold weddings and graduations and birthday parties and retirement parties and fourth of July fireworks and picnics and all manner of celebrations; we are waiting to plant and to build up and to open up and to resume buying and selling and coming and going and hugging and holding hands and singing and dancing and working and worshiping and living and dying; yes dying – dying with those we love by our side.
We are sidelined right now, we are on the side lines waiting for the game to began again, so that we can take the field, take our places, resume our roles and remember what it was to live in community with others, face to face on a daily basis. But those in charge of the game don’t seem to care if it resumes again or not.
After the virus has been defeated, will fear still keep us captive in our bunkers? There are medicines to cure the COVID, but there is no vaccine for fear. When fear sets in, the results are debilitating, paralyzing, and often fatal. Fear signals the death of peace and joy and freedom as it holds us captive in its fierce grip.
COVID-19 world is a world of fear and of isolation. Will our post COVID-19 world also be one of fear and of isolation? Do we have anything to say about the outcome? I love these words from Psalm 34:4-5,
“I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”
That’s what I need, to be delivered from all my fear, from the fear that surrounds me and all of us who live in this culture, ushered in by the corona virus, which many are fond of calling “the new normal.” I am ready to be released from my bunker and from my fear. (after all, what good would the former be without the latter?) Then I can say with the psalmist of Psalm 40:1-3,
“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”
I can continue to call out to my Heavenly Father knowing He hears me and that He will answer.
“Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help. You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever.” (Psalm 30:10-12)
sincerely, Grace Day