There was an article on Facebook a week ago, written by a nurse who watched parents bring their children into the PICU (Pediatric ICU). There was a pattern to the process of a beginning, during and after phase which paralleled what we’re going through currently under COVID restrictions. The start of the process, the beginning phase we are looking the situation head on, dealing with the immediate, the panic, the crisis reaction of radical change to life patterns, processes and realities. A shift of thinking about priorities and, well, everything.
The “During” phase is where we are now. During is full of unknowns. The end is unknown. What will happen “during” is unknown. Who will make it through to the end is unknown. Will I catch this? Will someone I care about? What do you mean now my pet could catch this? My neighbour? How will I shop safely? Can I just go for a walk?…
The underlying stress and anxiety of the during phase colours everything like an abstract sort of baseline onto which everything else piles. The Everything else includes general life – groceries, work, school for the kids, music lessons, pet care, putting in the garden, running a business, [insert usual activity here]. Each of these things has a coating, a wrapper of added time, considerations and sanitizing called “COVID-19” increasing the time each things takes and increasing the level of stress each thing induces.
It’s this during phase where who we are starts to show more clearly. How anxiety and stress play out in our behaviour becomes quicker to surface.
As Jesus often does, this coincidentally came in my feed:
For some, this is tears, others, sharp tones, others try to take control of anything and everything, some turn daily living into check lists, others hide in video games or literature, others lash out at everyone around them. Yet others still smile, still show grace. There is love and lightness in their words, their eyes and their activities. What is inside of us is what splashes out when we are bumped.
Jesus, I bring my heart and my mind to you. I offer you my self, this vessel that you have built. Holy Spirit, will you show me, in a picture, a word, a memory, or in scripture, what is in me that is spilling out? Lord show me the good things as well as those I need to change. I especially ask you to show me where my sins, where my habits or thought processes are discouraging or hurtful to those around me. Now, please show me the things that are godly, the gifts of the Spirit that you are growing in me.
Lord Jesus you are my example. Show me how to grow these blessings that they are the things that splash out in this time. The things that are jostled out onto others that bring joy, peace, love and hope.