Saturday, August 29, 2020

A Time for Everything

 [Originally published in the Monroe News on August 28, 2020]

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably struggled with emotions and how to digest the events of the past 5 months.  No doubt we’ve felt stress and emotions of sadness and sorrow.  Yet I have had no shortage of days and moments where I also felt joy and happiness and love because of what was near me in my life.  In many of those joyful moments and days I have to confess, there was a pinch of guilt that came with it. There was this little voice somewhere near my conscience that was saying “how can you laugh and be happy when people are suffering”.  Have you had this experience? Do you struggle with it too?

During our weeks in the stay-at-home order in April and May my family was for the most part enjoying ourselves.  We had much more time together.  We were absent many of the distractions that would have otherwise been a part of our daily lives.  I didn’t have meetings to attend. The kids didn’t have after-school functions. Our calendar had been emptied out.  So what did we do? We found ways to make the most of the situation. We spent time together. When the weather allowed, we took walks in the neighborhood and even partook of a few trails at our amazing state parks. Yet there were times when I felt awkward sharing this with others. Can I talk about the joys my family feels when others are hurting?  How do we reconcile this?  And don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our fair share of sorrowful moments too.  We’ve lost several friends and loved ones during this time. The kids have missed their friends and their time in school.  I’ve felt the challenges of ministry and not being able to see members in hospitals and nursing homes due to restrictions. 

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