This a very personal post. This is me doing some soul-searching reflections as I make sense of a COVID-19 society right alongside the rest of you. That means my writing might not be as pretty, and it is mostly targeted at sharing quite frankly how I’m making sense of things on my end. I hope however it serves as an opportunity for you to get to know me a little more and also to spur your own thinking as you process this happenstance in your own way. That is my intent in sharing it.
This quarantine has been an upset of some form to everyone. The entire world is dealing with it. Last time the whole world got involved together to this extent was probably WW2, if I understand my history correct.
Yesterday I was scrolling Facebook and came across a video of a dad rising to the challenge from his teenage daughter to do a dance-off. The mom was video recording it and the other sister was MCing the music. The video made me cry. It was so obvious to me that this family had been cooped up for a while together, like the rest of us. They were getting creative. They had gotten past that initial process of reconnecting that has to happen after you’ve been living separate lives for a while. They were having fun together. A dad, who normally worked, and a teenage daughter who normally would prefer her friends, now found a way to enjoy one another. It was stunningly beautiful. Who knows, maybe this family was always that connected? But it made me realize that their story that I imagined in my head was probably closer to reality for a lot of families right now, and that is such a beautiful redemption of this plague that has turned our world upside down.
I know for me, I have been surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed the extra time at home with my girls. We are already a homeschool family so that has admittedly helped. But we have had time to climb into subjects I’ve been wanting to cover with them for a while: geography, microscope time, read-aloud chapter books, creative writing. And I’ve gotten in more reading lessons with my kindergartener than I have all year, because our days aren’t clogged up by all our extra activities. Granted, we all miss our friends. But I think we’ve been missing each other a little more lately, especially having brought a new baby into the family this hear. So I think we are all finding this time to be a gift for our family. I pray the same is the case for you.
Such a drastic sudden change has given me much pause for thought as I suspect it is for many of you. Why am I enjoying this more than I expected? What should that mean for us moving forward into the future? Do we drop our coops? Do we keep our schedule less cluttered? I mean it’s something a lot of us struggle with in this land of opportunity. We don’t want to miss out. We don’t want our children to miss out either. FOMO is contagious that way.
I’m not making any decisions right now. It’s not the time to plan. But it does make me wonder what perspective God is offering us all through this time.
Are you willing to ask the hard questions? Such as: am I afraid to die?
I asked myself that one last night as I perhaps foolishly read yet another hospital account of the virus. People are dying alone in hospital hallways right now, here in our country, in New York City. Dying alone. I had to ask myself: what if I get it? I have a 5 month old baby who is so attached right now I can’t even set her down for her naps anymore. What would happen to her if I got it, and had to be hospitalized, if I died? She has refused bottles, and can’t do most formulas because of multiple food allergies. What if my hugs today end up being my last with my children because I come down with a fever in the night?
These are honestly terrifying thoughts. One could say I shouldn’t be thinking that way. I would much rather not be thinking that way. Perhaps they are just anxious thoughts. But they are the reality for some of us. And so if I don’t ask those questions, will I be ready if it happens to me? And if it doesn’t happen to me, it may happen to someone else. Am I missing the opportunity of perspective that comes from answering them?
Am I afraid to die? Yes. I don’t want to die alone in a hospital, barely breathing, with limited care available to me.
I am a Christian. So I know that means there is an answer for that fear. I must bring my heart towards that answer, for Hebrews 2:14-15 says “that through death Jesus might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” Scripture is clear when it says that Christ has disempowered Satan by removing the fear of death. So I know I don’t have to be afraid, not really afraid. And that’s because the kind of fear of death Jesus has delivered me from is the fear of the judgment that comes on the other side of it. Hebrews 9:17 says, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” We are all going to die some day, whether by the corona virus or something else. That judgement won’t assess how many good and bad things we’ve done. Ultimately it will assess whether we received or rejected the incredible free gift of forgiveness of any eternal consequences we rightly deserve for the bad things we all HAVE done. If I receive that Christ has taken that consequence upon Himself in my stead, and I have thus submitted to Him, I do not need to be afraid of the judgment that comes on the other side of death. Because I know regardless of what happens to me here, I am safe on the other side.
But are you? Could you confidently say that you will be spending eternity with God?
If you can’t, why not?
These ARE the questions you should be asking right now. They are even scarier to answer than pondering yourself or a loved one catching the corona virus. Because the answer bears eternal ramifications that cannot be reversed. Death is reversible to God. He did it with Jesus and some day we will all experience that resurrection. It’s just a matter of where you’ll end up on the other side when you do.
My friends. Ask the hard scary questions. Face the reality of what is happening right now. Don’t miss it. This is your opportunity. It could be your last opportunity, for no one knows the day or the hour of his death.
Don’t miss out. Yes, this is me encouraging some FOMO – the right kind of FOMO.
If you don’t know the answers, or you’re too afraid to answer them, let’s talk. I’d love to have a virtual conversation with any of you about this. Because what happens on the other side of our earthly death IS a matter of life and death.