I wish things would just go back to the way they were. This thought has been a grumble of mine to God many times over now. It’s been a tug at my heart when things aren’t exactly as I would like them to be. Despite being a very adaptable person, there are a number of things I truly miss about life pre-2020.*
I miss smiling at babies and having them smile back. It’s a bit difficult for that to happen when wearing a mask. Not to mention, I miss holding babies!
I miss big social events, like concerts, fireworks, conferences, state fairs, etc. I miss having a full social calendar. It was a beautiful thing to see people come together from many walks of life to enjoy the same thing. Not to mention, I miss big family events where I could hug my grandparents and sit right next to them!
I miss going places and not wearing a mask. This is pretty self-explanatory. My forgetful self has learned to have a stash of masks in the car!
I miss sitting right next to people at church, and being able to mix and mingle afterwards. Sure, it can happen now, but it isn’t the same. The Body of Christ is meant to be connected, and new requirements don’t encourage that. At least where I am located, church attendance is also down a lot from where it was before.
I miss a society that was less judgmental and suspicious about other’s choices. People are so unkind about other’s choices. Everyone thinks they are right, when the reality is that we are still learning and disproving every single day.
Now, let’s talk about the flip side: whenever I grumble, God always reminds me of the blessings to be found in the situation. He reminds me that He is constantly working to bring about good for those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Here are some of the “bright” and hopeful spots which have come about this year, both in my own life and in the world.
During the “shelter-in-place” orders, my passion for writing was re-ignited. I had nowhere to go, so it was the perfect time to finish writing my first book. I am more disciplined about making time for writing now (though this doesn’t always apply to the blog).
Many sleeping people finally woke up to the fact that racism and oppression is still a reality faced by people of color. It took yet another death of a Black man at the hands of police, but the world woke up! Many took to getting educated, having the difficult conversations, and figuring out tangible ways to work for equality. (Though some still don’t want to be roused from their sleep of denial, we pray and work for a world where peace, justice, and unity will reign.) I don’t ever again want anyone with darker skin, anyone from another country, to feel that they don’t belong or are not loved. I don’t ever want another person to feel that their voice is unheard, or that there’s no use in speaking up because their voice is continually invalidated.
I think that the path has been paved for a world where we can continue to “smell the roses” and not get so caught up in busyness that they forget how to truly live.
Families had no choice but to spend time with one another and get involved in the rhythms of one another’s daily lives. I pray that familial relationships will continue to be strengthened. I pray for family relationships to be healed.
I pray for a world where we continue to realize that we are all human. COVID-19 had no barriers, and people had to confront this. I pray for a world where no one thinks they are above another person due to national origin, race, sex, age, economic status, religion, or any other reason.
As much as I don’t enjoy Zoom or other virtual meetings, I realize that the state of the world has allowed people to become more connected in certain ways. I was able to connect a friend who lives hours away to a group (meeting virtually) at my church–where they found great fellowship!
This is a time of birthing for the world. It is a painful process. A woman’s body can never be the same after a life has been created within her and birthed by her. Change is immensely uncomfortable. Sometimes it means that there aspects which will never go back to the way they were before. Throughout this difficult time, I look for the positive aspects which have been brought about, while also praying for His kingdom to come here, “on earth as it is in Heaven.”