fool me once

In my area there seems to be a lull in the action. Most people are wearing masks in the stores. Ground beef is currently $5.49/lb for 80/20. The 88 cent single roll of toilet paper from back when this started is up to $1.00. Two times my husband and I waited in a double line marked by upside-down carts, when they were only allowing 100 people into Sam’s Club (they’ve changed it to allow 300 people now). I am used to the blue arrows taped to the floors, showing me which direction the traffic flows in the aisles.

Our church started offering communion slots for groups under 10. We had to call and sign up for a 15 minute slot. Because confirmation never happened, my husband went ahead and met with each of the confirmands privately and finished up their catechism learning and questioning. They were free to take communion with their families, so this past weekend was my daughter’s first communion. It was underwhelming, and when it was all over, I wished I would’ve bought her a gift or done something to make a bigger deal out of another one of our children receiving the Lord’s Supper.

We were not required to wear masks to church, but they encouraged it. The mask thing hasn’t bothered me, but for the first time, when all five of my kids had to stand at the rail, socially distanced from the two other people who were numerically allowed in our group, I felt a tinge of degradation. It’s one thing to experience it myself, but when my children have now experienced a world where they were made to cover their face in church? I’m not convinced my family needs to sign up for that every week.

I’m not convinced either that any of this is over. This whole thing is like a firework that fizzled out and died before it ever went off. I was intensely afraid in the beginning, and I’m still afraid, though I don’t know of what. A killer virus? Economic collapse? Government overreach? A medical draft? In the beginning I was most afraid of 1) starvation, 2) mass deaths and hospital overwhelm, and 3) being drafted and forced to leave my family.

I wouldn’t say these fears were completely irrational. Ever since reading about the horrors of starvation through the story of the Donner Party, I realized starvation is a suffering you would never want to feel or watch anyone go through. The hospital overwhelm was because of all those articles with visuals (propaganda? an honest but extremely wrong first guess?) showing the mountain of cases above the hospital capacity line. The medical draft fear was because the NY gov had mandated that all nurses were required to sign up to help fight (doctors weren’t required, only asked). My state was sending me messages through my phone asking for health workers to “join the fight” and be part of an emergency database.

Obviously I know we’re not supposed to be afraid and that we need, and indeed always have, the Lord Jesus. I know it’s HIM we’re to be always waiting for and looking for, not the next big potential SHTF scenario. The return of Jesus is human history’s Next Big Thing. The advice “Don’t let your guard down” can be interpreted in many different ways, but unless we’re talking about the parable of the ten virgins, I don’t think that’s the advice to be giving. No one knows the future and life is but a breath. That does not, however, change that fact that I love you, friends. I am not afraid to say it.

A lot of people are suffering greatly right now. The world is not spinning as normal right now, and it’s been greatly messing people up, me included.

Please be praying for everyone, friends.

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