It is our practice, even in non-covid times, to begin every church meeting with some sort of a “check-in.” We do this because we are not a business, or a mere social organization, we are a religious community. How you are doing, how the member next to you is doing — this is our business.
Now, it’s even more important. We want to check-in and find out how each person is doing, how is their physical health, what about their mental/emotional/spiritual health? I saw on social media someone joking about how all of her emails now sound like a letter Jane Austen would write: “I hope this missive finds you and your family in good health and fair spirits.”
Many of us have endeavored to put on a brave face, or an optimistic air. And that is important, to make the choice to not fall into despair as a matter of habit.
And yet … for all that we may say we’re okay, to hasten to share that we know others have it much worse and so we are full of gratitude, we need to balance that with truth. To be optimistic is one thing, to be dishonest is another.
And we can hold two seemingly opposing ideas at the same time:
- I am lucky to have a healthy family, a job, and creature comforts like air-conditioning. — AND —
- It is freakin’ 107 degrees outside and being cooped up in the house is stifling, and the news is a constant barrage of bad news, and I’m stressed out.
Both can be — and are! — true.
For most of us, our brains aren’t working as well as normal. We’re forgetful, distracted. Our ability to regulate our own emotions is decreased. We’re irritable, quick to anger. We’re exhausted, no matter how much sleep we get.
We don’t have the research yet to back this up, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that considering we are under self-isolation for a global pandemic, while in the 4th year of a government administration that has broken records for its corruption … of course we’re not okay!
But there is something about having this community, and having each other. We may not “be okay” right now, but we can be not okay together. Grace abounds. We can receive it, and we can extend it.