I find myself reflecting, once again, on the unpredictability and complexity of living. In the daily routines and planning, this reality (that life is unpredictable and complex) can get muffled. In recent days, COVID-19 has been the abrupt catalyst that has cut through the fog and reminds me of not only the unpredictability and complexity, but also the frailty.
Inevitably this catalyst brings about difficult emotions - grief, anger and fear to name a few. It is an intention decision to write "difficult emotions" rather than "negative emotions", because these are valid experiences worthy of our acknowledgement. It makes sense to be grieved that special moments were taken, local businesses are struggling, people are experiencing loss of jobs, and we are losing lives. It makes sense to be angered by the inhumane treatment of people - whether it be racism, ageism, or a lack of care for medical workers. It makes sense to have a general fear regarding the virus. Therefore, creating a space for difficult emotions are not only valid, but necessary.
The challenge is how do we create the necessary room (for these difficult emotions) without losing hope. This is where faith has been a pivotal part for me. Some of the ways I engage my faith are as follows:
- Checking in on friends, family and co-worker (praying for the things we discuss and when able praying with others during the check in)
- Having quiet meditative times in scripture (especially reflecting on the Season of lent and the upcoming Holy week)
- Listening to live streams related to Christian faith as well as discussion from multi-faith
- Prayer of lament and thanksgiving
Admittedly some days are harder than others, but that is what makes it a challenge. I am encouraged in knowing that it’s not about processing perfectly, but to process.