An Awareness We Are in this Life Together: Pandemics Can Do That

We are well aware we are living, breathing creatures.  Sometimes wemay take for granted life and breath.  But, there is something about a world-wide crisis that brings us up short, gets our attention in ways of which we may be unaware on most ‘ordinary days.’

These are not ‘ordinary days.’  While we may be rushing around trying to ‘make provision’ for sheltering in place to the extent our lives permit, it’s possible we find ourselves viewing today and our hoped-for-tomorrows as extraordinary, or out of the ordinary.  (from the Latin extra ordinem)  This coronavirus and the disease Covid-19 is as serious as it gets and feels anything but ordinary!

Adults, youth, and children – all of us are practicing hand-washing for 20 seconds. There are all manner of suggestions on how to ‘time’these 20 of the 86,400 seconds in a 24-hour day.  We are suddenly very aware of how many ’20-seconds’ we spend washing our hands.  We do so to protect ourselves, those persons closest to us, the persons in communities we inhabit, and those perhaps-unknown persons around us – especially those most vulnerable.  We do so because we are in this together. 

We are also practicing ‘social distancing,’ trying as very best we can to give one another the kind of space which will make a difference in the, yes, ‘fight’ against this virus. 

As much as we may sometimes think of ourselves as that proverbial ‘island unto ourselves,’ we aren’t.  We are in this together – which is exceedingly good news.  What? you ask?  Good News?!  We know a pandemic caused by any invasive virus is not good news in any way, shape, or form!  The ‘together’ part is the good news.

Yes, coming in contact with one another can spread viruses as well as bacteria.  But, in times such as these we are or become acutely aware of our dependence on one another. 

The farmers and farm workers who toil to bring forth food from the earth. 

Those who go to sea in search of food living in the depths of the oceans. 

Those who stock grocery store bins and shelves and say “I’m sorry” a thousand times a day because bathroom tissue and hand-sanitizer shelves are bare.

The persons who fill those underground gasoline depositories at gas stations.

Those who work making baby formula and diapers and all manner of children’s needs.

The persons who work in factories making medicines of every imaginable type.

The persons donning hazmat gear to work in laboratories and gaze at the images through the lenses or screens of electron microscopes in hopes of helping those of us they will never meet, or who staff hospitals, radiology departments, doctors’ offices, and health clinics.

In other words, all of us – whatever our callings or backgrounds or origins.

In the second creation story found in the biblical book Genesis, the Holy One, Whom Many Call God, declares:  ‘it is not good that the human one should be alone, so I will make a partner.’[1]  We are partners in our common life, having been in this life together since the mysterious time of humankind’s beginning.  In every age it seems as though we humans say, ‘We need each other now more than ever.’  Today we can honestly say we are in need of one another more than ever.

As we practice being in this life together spaced some feet apart, it’s important to give

thanks for the life that is in us and trust God will continue to guide us as we navigate being in this life ‘together.’                                     

Peace and love in Christ, Rev. Lorraine+

[1] Gen. 2:18 paraphased.

Published by ststephensoxford

Episcopal Church in Oxford, North Carolina

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