Times like these calls for grace upon grace, don’t you think?
2020 started out with retreats and workshops all playing on the idea of 20/20 vision. There was this hope that 2020 would bring something new, maybe a revival of sorts. Of course, we wanted that revival to be easy and calm. We wanted a clearer vision to see what we wanted to see. 2020 definitely provided just that…
First we had the slow burn of Covid-19. I remember hearing my husband and father-in-law talking about it in late December and early January. They were noting the shut down of factories in China and how that would impact their businesses. I listened with curiosity but had no idea how much those seemingly benign conversations would impact my own life.
Toward the end of February, as I was planning for several big events at work, we started receiving some cancellations for a gathering we hosted in Indianapolis. I talked with one participant about how she really wanted to come but her company was banning travel. Then, at the event itself, a few people were opting out of handshakes.
Just one week later I grabbed a few things from my desk as we headed home to work for a few weeks. It’s now been four months. Last week I picked up a monitor from my office, along with a few other supplies. Now I’m set up to work from home for the foreseeable future.
As tensions were rising because people felt their rights were being infringed upon by being told to stay home or wear masks, other people continued to lose their lives at the hands of racists. We reached a breaking point with the death of George Floyd. Now books by Black authors are flying off the shelves, protests take place daily, and White people are waking up to their complacency in the ongoing terror of racism in this country.
I’m constantly trying to figure out how to balance physical distancing with standing up for Black Americans. I’m confused by folks who one day shamed others for not staying home and now are hugging strangers freely. My brain is on overdrive trying to determine what the “next right thing” is.
Okay, so that’s just a slice of what’s going on in our country.
What about all the things happening in our homes? In our minds? In our hearts? What about all the things happening in our work settings? In our families? In our marriages?
Covid-19 doesn’t erase anxiety, depression or addiction. In fact, Covid-19 exacerbates all of it. The hopeful acknowledgement of white supremacy doesn’t void out fear, terror or mistrust. In fact, it might make it worse.
Friends, we are each facing something different right now. We need grace upon grace because… Some love working from home while others are eager to go back to the office. Some were glad to learn from a distance and others can’t wait to get back to school. Some love the extra time at home with their children and others are trying to find ways to get them out of the house now. Some appreciate the safety that masks provide and others fear how they’ll be perceived. Some are anxious to get out and protest and others are trying to figure out how to support a cause and stay healthy at the same time.
Therapy sessions still take place. Doctors still try to figure out mysterious symptoms. Families still misunderstand each other. Infertility is still a reality. Allergies still flare and tempers still rise. In other words, in the midst of one of the strangest years most of us have ever experienced, we’re still human.
Grace upon grace
Grace upon grace. It’s my belief that we’re all doing the best we can… We are all living in the midst of a lot right now. I offer grace upon grace, even where it may not be deserved, because that’s the definition of grace. Remember, grace isn’t about what you deserve; it’s a free gift offered to you just because you are you.
I’m not great at it, of course, because I am human. But I try. I try to reserve judgement, though it still runs through my mind when I see people clearly ignoring physical distancing recommendations. I try to be peaceful, though I still can’t understand how anyone with any sense of morality still supports the man in the White House. Remember, I am still human.
Grace upon grace. It’s what we all need right now. It’s what I need. I suspect you need it too.