Spring is here, and we have the hopes that all adults will have received their vaccine by summer. It is a glorious time full of hope and possibility.
Our feelings may be a little more complicated than that. I’ve been hearing this from many of us, and experiencing some of it myself. The combination of relief + fears of variants + excitement about doing things again we enjoy + worry about expectations and obligations that will be put on us + remember that the “Before Times” weren’t perfect … well, it all adds up to a big mess of competing emotions.
Ignoring messy feelings doesn’t make them go away, so I’ve been blogging about it this week:
The Pandemic Is (Hopefully) Ending … Why Am I Not Happy?
Post-Pandemic and the Expectations of Others
The Feeling of (Many of Us) All In It Together
Lord Byron and the End of the Pandemic
Once again, we need to extend grace to one another. This is part of being in a congregation, and always has been an element: knowing that as we are one community, we are also individuals. We have different things going on in our lives. One person comes to church thrilled because of a new job, while another comes heartbroken because of a family death.
Right now, I see a church full of individuals having extremely different experiences. Some have received both doses of the vaccine and are able to enjoy getting together with friends and family. Others haven’t even been able to have their first vaccine. Some are celebrating and planning on fun things to do while others are wondering if their family will make it through May without completely losing it.
Don’t hide your joy. It gives hope that things are going to get better. But also don’t hide your apprehension about what comes next, or your sadness at your current circumstances. This is life in community, with its sweet intimacies of sharing the good and the bad, the happy and the painful. The only thing we must guard against is our assumption that what is true for us is true for all.