I’m so tired of this already
By Nathan Decker
“Impatience can cause wise people to do foolish things.”
– Janette Oke
In almost every conversation I have recently, people say, “I’m so tired of this already” or some version of “When will we get back to normal?” Many churches have been closed since March 15. It has truly been over 40 days and 40 nights since many of us have gathered in person with hugs and handshakes. Most of us struggle with knowing what day of the week it is. New days seem to have been added to our week: this day, the other day and some day. We have changed dramatically and because of the long-term nature of these changes, there is no going back.
And in some ways that’s a good thing. We are closer to our families. We are looking out for each other more. We’ve all had time to reflect on our lives and honestly choose what we want them to be in the future. Churches have either finally moved into the digital age or have joined the dinosaurs. Some changes have been amazing.
In other areas, we haven’t changed so much. I find people are just as judgmental now as they have ever been. When I go for my weekly run to the grocery store dutifully wearing my mask, there is a part of me that looks at those who are not wearing masks with an eye of suspicion and even rage. Yes, my nature is to follow the rules, and seeing others break them does not give me any happy feelings.
We also have dived even deeper into us-versus-them thinking. Many people have fallen prey to lies, half-truths and misinformation all aimed at driving us further apart from one another. Someone recently told me that the virus is targeting blacks. This comment was based on numbers and statistics while ignoring context. The truth is all diseases target those living in poverty. Unjustly, blacks are disproportionately represented in lower-income levels as a historical sin in our nation. Viruses like COVID-19 feast in areas where poor diet, respiratory health and support are the norm. Viruses don’t care what your skin tone, education or political affiliation is.
I will tell you what I’m so tired of already. I’m tired of our leaders using fear and petty squabbles to divide us rather than unite us. I’m tired of being drawn into closed discussions where differing opinions are seen as mortal threats rather than life-giving perspectives. I’m tired of us treating scientists, doctors, and nurses as if they care more about an agenda than they do about our health and wellbeing. I’m tired of us not caring.
We need to care about others more than our own discomfort. Masks need to be worn, businesses need to open. Wearing a mask is uncomfortable. My homemade mask doesn’t protect me from the outside coming in, but it does protect me from unintentionally infecting others should I have the virus and not be aware. Opening businesses may feel uncomfortable in the coming weeks and months. It’s not about money, for many small businesses it is about keeping people employed so they can go to the grocery store, hopefully wearing their masks. Again, we need to care about others more than our own discomfort. After all, it’s what Jesus would do during a time of COVID-19.
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
– Jesus in Matthew 10:16 ESV