The World in Quarantine

It’s been a while. Years in fact. And I’m not just talking about since the last time I approached a keyboard with the intent to write here, a blog that once brought healing to my own soul. I mean it’s been years since I’ve submitted to the outrageousness of grace. I feel nothing but shame when I state that and yet… my ego wants to defend it and explain away all the reasons that this occurred. As if stating that it was on my list of “Things To Do’ is an adequate argument.

Sitting in quarantine has felt much like a ‘Holy Saturday’ the space of waiting, sitting…. being stuck inside a demanded pause. Life is no longer what it was and at the end of this… I just don’t think life can ever be the same. And that’s where I find myself. In the awareness of how deep this radical pause must go.

On Good Friday I woke up and felt uneven. It had been weeks of quarantine for NYC, something just under 30 days. At first I wanted to blame the long days of required ‘stay at home’ as the reason for the shakiness but the more I dwelled on it across the morning, the more I realized I was stuck inside a critical moment. That Easter had creeped up on me in a different way than it had in years. Without the ability to hide behind the practice of spending time with others or cooking a meal, I was stuck to sit and dwell on the actual reasons… the deeper, more profound purpose of Easter. I’m ashamed to say I tried to push that aside and fight it. Dealing with it, sitting in it, would mean sitting with all the things I’ve been running from. Because if I’m honest, I knew what all the miles and years represented. I knew how hard it would be to be still. I knew it would begin a crack in my ability to just adapt… expose that adapting is not healing. It’s simply begin able to continue until the hurt is muted or quieted down by time. So I sat inside that critical moment and I did something I hadn’t done authentically in years. I prayed a very simple, very honest prayer…

“I don’t know where to start. I don’t know where to start. I don’t know where to start.”

It was my heart’s plea. The most honest and truthful thing I could say. Could feel. Could express. A little while later I reached out to a friend I hadn’t truly spoken with in over 8 years, a friend I knew could dive in where I needed to go – even if I wasn’t quite ready to go there. I also reached out to another friend who allowed me to join her service that day and to connect 1/1 virtually the next week.

These things are not simple to me. This is not a moment unnoticed. I didn’t know where to start and then I was lead on how to start. This is not a miracle moment where I can say everything is fine. It’s not. I am not fine. My faith is not healed. My connection with God is clouded by ego and bruises and empty miles of space between us that I let get there. And I don’t quite know how to truly get back.

But… this may have actually been the bravest, most truthful thing I’ve done in a very long time for myself. To submit to the painful awareness I’m in over my head. I had no idea where to start.

Holy Saturday is a day of waiting. Sitting. Being still. And being still, in this sense, doesn’t mean while staying busy. I often like to purposely confuse those two together. This kind of stillness demands more from us than the busyness of phone calls and social media and tv marathons and the occasional thriller novel. This kind of stillness is to come to a place within ourselves where we are willing to dig in and be intentional with ourselves. This kind of stillness, this kind of waiting is…. uncomfortable.

Though Holy Saturday will soon pass, the symbolism will live on as the days continue here in quarantine. We are in a very scary, unsteady, unnerving time. Could it be, though, that we are also in a space where we are being given a reset? I mean when in our adult lives will this ever happen again? Demanded stillness. Despite all the anxiety and fear and uncertainty it also feels…. sacred. If we let it be.

How? I’m not sure yet. This is just my acknowledgment of what once was and what may be someday.

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