I’ve been looking back over my journals over the past year as we have now passed the one-year mark of our time in COVID. I write a minimum of three gratitudes for each day and have been doing so throughout this pandemic. Another practice I began was writing down what was going on—in me and in society—during this past year. Remember the joy of finding toilet paper on the shelf? Remember figuring out where the face masks section of the grocery store was?
On one page in my most recent journal I wrote, “Pandemics have different stages of grief. The first phase was ‘we’ll get through this. We’ll learn all this new stuff. We’ll rally…’ Third phase ‘it’s the “new normal” versus the “unprecedented times” from the first phase’…Fifth phase…(right before Christmas) was anger, frustration and pain, likely from the added pressure of holiday celebrations restricted to immediate family only.”
Now we’re in the phase of elation at the news of being able to cautiously open up as we didn’t have the anticipated Christmas/New Year’s holiday surge and we’re beginning to have more access to vaccines.
It’s been hard, this last year. We’ve had our joys and sorrows, but as the pandemic wears on, we all have this underlying layer of worry over what might still happen; of grief over lives lost, celebrations missed, family and friends with whom we’ve lost contact. This underlying layer of grief is wearing.
But we also have an overlying assurance that we are not going through this alone. We are not without some friends and family with whom we still keep in touch. We are not without neighbors who check in on us and make sure we’re safe. We are not without a God who is over all and in all and works through all for the good of all.
This Easter we get to celebrate (those of us who feel safe to do so) with our faith community in the sanctuary now that new UV filters have been installed and we have put into place mask wearing and safe distancing. We also get to celebrate safely in our homes with our new live-streaming capabilities.
God is good, all the time and we are grateful that God has seen us through this past year of COVID. We have made it through safe and sound and thanks to God who shepherds us, who cares for us and who loves us beyond imagining as witnessed by the holy and amazing events of Holy Week.
Happy Easter and blessed spring to all!