Just a few short weeks ago, we had no way of knowing that a virus would sneak into our country like a thief in the night; stealing away our comfort and security.
As the fragility of life is thrust into our faces day after day, we cling to one another in ways that we once took for granted.
Forced to stay within the walls of our own homes, some days can seem to drag on for weeks.
We must be still.
Activity has ceased.
Plans have been canceled.
Time has become relative.
We must be purposeful in all that we do.
We must wash our hands until they are raw.
We mustn’t touch our faces.
In the unlikelihood that we do leave our houses, we must wear masks now. We even have them personalized.
We must wear gloves to gather our food items; grocery shopping being the only outside luxury still available to us.
We must maintain a 6-foot distance between not only strangers, but our neighbors, friends, and even family.
There are no more hugs or handshakes.
Human contact is limited to our own homes, and even still, we must be careful. We don’t want to get too close and risk infecting one another.
Reaching out through the telephone and computer, our words have become more meaningful.
This is our new normal. We are universally experiencing a frightening new way of life.
There are no books; no experts.
We are all asking the same questions:
“What is to become of all of us?” “When is this going to end?”
We share this collective anxiety; this trauma.
Those of us who are believers are forced to lean on God in ways we may never have before. Many who are not, are finding themselves reaching out to an unfamiliar God for the very first time.
Each morning there is a choice to be made:
“Do we smile?” “Do we deny?” “Do we surrender to the fear?”
“What do we do with this?”
We must choose.
Every single one of us.
Though we are cut off from each other, we are not alone.
To the father, who paints a smile on his face and steadies his voice before facing his family each day, I know that you are afraid, but you are not alone.
To the unmarried, whose singledom seems a flashing neon sign of isolation right now, I know that you feel so very lonely, but you are not alone.
To the woman who waited her entire life to marry the man of her dreams, only to have her big day postponed even longer. I know that forever takes forever when it’s just been you for so long, but you are not alone.
To the man who just lost his job and has no idea what he is going to do or how the bills are going to get paid- you are not alone.
To the mom who suddenly finds herself trying to balance both work and children at home, I know that you are overwhelmed and exhausted, and maybe you could actually just use a moment alone.
To the young couple whose pregnancy has been hijacked by fear and uncertainty- I know that you are grieving all that this virus has stolen from you. I know that you are scared- but you are not alone.
To the essential employees who must continue to stand on the front line for us; you are risking your lives even as it means you are essentially cut off from your own families at times. You often stand alone, but our hearts and prayers are with you to ensure that you are not.
To the elderly, the asthmatic, the diabetic, the immune-compromised, to each and every one of you who are vulnerable to this virus- we have all taken this collective oath to protect you…by choosing to be alone.
Though physically we may be cut off and isolated from each other, none of us are truly alone. In a world that has all too often lacked empathy, we find ourselves thrust into a situation that invites all of us to share this burden.
We are in this together. Every single one of us.