COVID-19 Thought Journal | May 18, 2020
Life is thick with irony during this time. What we have come to expect to see and to experience has now become the opposite in our current reality. These ironies are beautiful in so many ways. At the very least, thought provoking.
- The "mothballed" giant public high school that has been vacant for years in our neighborhood normally sits like a monstrous sculpture meant to remind us of our past sins and failures. Outside the occasional dog-owners playing fetch with their pups, you don't see to many people on Southwest High School grounds. But over the last several weeks, I've seen kids taking over the old long jump sand pit with their toy dump trucks and plastic shovels. There are soccer games and flag football games. Grown men are flying kites. People jog around the old dirt track.
- We did quite a few family bike rides prior to this. Brookside is a pretty active neighborhood for bike riding. But now the streets are flooded with families riding bikes together. Kids have been given much longer ranges to ride their bikes than before. We see packs of kids riding down our street whom we've never seen before now.
- National and State Parks are opening back up now, but there were many reports over the last several weeks of the animals feeling a new sense of freedom during shut downs. Not only that, but the Earth has been given a chance to catch its breath temporarily, with significant reductions in pollution emissions.
- Mental health and total well-being of employees was increasing in our corporate dialogue, but still awkwardly stared at and shied away from - like piece of spinach stuck in someone's tooth. It is weird and vulnerable to talk about mental states and emotions in the workplace, despite the fact that they have proven impact to our overall health. Now, it is rising to the forefront of our conversations. We want to truly know how someone is doing, to provide a listening ear, and to give an encouraging word. Why? Because we have a shared sense of suffering and grief in this. A sense of "we're all in it together." We feel how hard this is and know it must be hard for others in more isolating circumstances.
- We are fearing something that is invisible. We are making major, life-altering decisions on how we live our lives based on something we can't touch and may never truly "know." But in the irony of all ironies, so many still struggle to accept that there is an invisible God that rules the universe. You can't touch him. You are fully known by him, and knowing him back means you will have hope beyond the brutal news of today.
Psalm 126:2-6 "... Indeed, the Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad! Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the desert! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, using tears as a seed for sowing, will come home with joy as his harvest bounty."
See any irony in that verse?