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How are you today?

How are you doing?

I was recently asked that question by someone who wanted to know a true answer and not just the stock answer that I would give most people. If you want to be honest, you know what I mean. How many times when your world is crumbling around you and someone asks the standard question of “How are you doing?” you respond with a nod of the head and a “All good, or just fine” answer.

With the events of the last month behind us and at least a month or more to go in our current situation, how are you really doing? Well let me see. What are some of the things going on in your life?

I can share a few things with you. Recently my wife after a mammogram and a biopsy was diagnosed with an early stage breast cancer. After further testing, she had surgery on March 16th and because of the virus concerns, she has stayed at home trying to recover without complications. We are now in a holding pattern waiting on pathology reports, to determine a future course of action.

What about work? So many people have lost jobs or have taken pay cuts until things get going again. Many more are depressed because of the stock market and what appears to be a never ending slump. My wife is grounded right now. She is flight attendant and her industry is almost shut down. I am sure you know someone who is going through the same thing also.

Virus concerns? Our churches are trying to adapt to what is the safest policies for the people entrusted to us. Maybe you are fortunate right now not to have a loved one who has tested positive for our new virus. It is a sinking feeling. I have a sister who has tested positive and I cannot visit her in the hospital. How does that make you feel? I know how it makes me feel. I have been in every hospital room over the last twelve years that I could go into, gloved, masked, gowned, and now I have to stay out. It’s hard to process to be honest. When the people you love need you and you cannot be there by their side.

So my question again is “How are you doing?” We are all going through a lot of fear and uncertainty now. Of course as Christians, we trust in our loving and merciful God. We know what Jesus has done and what we can look forward to. Yet we are still here, living in this broken world, dealing with the problems that plague us now. How do we balance things?
I will share my thoughts. As usual, I must state that I am not an expert. But these are my thoughts and my reflections on what I have experienced in life and how I am approaching this current situation.

I call it having a healthy fear. Healthy fear is not a bad thing. It can save your life. It can keep you from not swimming too far off shore, or any number of examples to protect you from putting yourself in danger. We should be practicing a healthy fear right now not just for our own well-being, but for the health and well-being of those we love in our families and our communities.

So here is just a reminder for us in the coming days and weeks. We cannot control what could happen tomorrow or next week and even next month. We didn’t have that ability before the virus and we did not all of a sudden gain that control since it has come here. But what we can do is control our attitude and perspective for today. We should do that not just for ourselves but for the people we love and the people entrusted to our care.

We are learning many new things right now, I know I am. Many of us are getting hands on experience with technology. It is not a bad thing is it? We are using technology to supplement our community connections. I guess we should have been doing this all along. It is a tool that many of us have placed in the back of a drawer in our tool box. Now all of a sudden it needs to get used. Community is defined by a building or address. So now is our chance to continue being a community that is connected by more than just a space to gather.

I would also like to stress to you that self-care is pivotal now, more than ever. Not just the things that we are placing into our bodies via our mouth, but also the things that we are consuming via our eyes and ears. Turn off the television, put down the smart phone and the endless notifications that are interrupting your life now. Turn them off and do something different. Take some time to get outside in the fresh air and walk. Enjoy the sunlight, marvel at God’s beautiful creation and thank Him for all things.

Stay healthy, positive and stay in peace