Would Jesus Wear a Mask?
SARS-CoV-2 hit the US over a year ago. Despite the worldwide scourge, many still felt that the pandemic was a hoax or another attempt at government control. Some nations took it seriously. Others did not. But this coronavirus plays no favorites. It does not respect politics or religion. It follows the rules of basic biology. Whether this pandemic started with a laboratory leak or wet market, no one can argue that we’ve lost too many lives because of it. And for the survivors, many still deal with long-haul symptoms months after infection. And then there’s the mask debate. (Insert eyeroll.) Do we really need to wear them? Do they even…
Is It Safe to Open My Eyes Now?
I write this post two days before the US elects its next president. By the time you read this, the election would have already passed. The election results won’t make a difference to me. (Translation: I’m jaded.) Too many people have died from COVID, riots, and racism this year. Add to that unemployment, mask wars (a.k.a. selfishness), hurricane after hurricane, and fire after fire. We came into this election season an exhausted hostile nation—already overwhelmed with anxiety and grief. I can picture the devil high-fiving his minions right now over their victory at dividing our nation. There is no real winner here. Because a presidential election can’t buy peace…
The incidence of depression, anxiety and suicide has skyrocketed as the isolation and life-disruption from Covid-19 has ravaged our world. I wrote this post in April 2013. Over the weekend, Rick Warren (pastor of Saddleback Church in California, author of The Purpose Driven Life) and his wife Kay revealed that their son Matthew had taken his life after a lifelong struggle with mental illness. In an email to his church, Pastor Warren wrote, “[O]nly those closest knew that he struggled from birth with mental illness, dark holes of depression, and even suicidal thoughts. In spite of America’s best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness…
Homogeneity is Easy (But Unity’s Better)
Can I be frank with you? Homogeneity is easy. Whole cultures exist where people have common stories and experiences, surrounded by people who speak the same language (both literally and figuratively). Exhausted from the fractalization, Americans daydream of such utopia, like Camelot or Wakanda or maybe Finland. Meanwhile across our melting pot, we don’t share anything but angst. Is holding a door patriarchal or polite? Does our compliment show appreciation or reveal underlying racism? Requiring masks wise or a lack of faith? Is there any politician, educator, or mommy blogger who isn’t accused of being extreme and trying to ruin the country? Chasms cut and crosscut the nation, including…
Flourishing under Siege
Psalm 139 intrigues me. We often turn to verses 13-16 to talk about God’s design of the unborn child in the womb. Verse 5, though, has always captured my interest. Both the NIV and NASB contain phrases that we have incorporated into American idioms: “Don’t hem me in.” And, “Don’t lay a hand on me.” Do you use these idioms in your country? In my individualistic American culture, we use these idioms to say to others, “Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do; don’t mess with me; don’t put limits on me.” Yet in Psalm 139:5, God himself hems us in or squeezes us (NET translation) and lays a…
The toddler in this YouTube sweetly passes on what others have said to her. For generations, mothers have often tried to soothe their fraught children with three simple words, “You’re okay.” As a child wails and reels from known and unknown causes, a mother will try to calm and reassure her child with, “You’re okay, you’re okay.” My mother probably said it to me, I said it to my children, and I watch them say it to their children. And their children will probably say it to their children. Mothers know more than their children, they know that things will be okay, things are not as bad as they seem,…
Living in Limbo
Normal. Where has it gone? A few months ago my boys romped on playgrounds daily and bounced into their church classrooms on Sundays. Today we watch church online and debate whether it’s safe to start pre-k this fall. The routine we once enjoyed feels years removed. In its place we navigate endlessly changing regulations, mask mandates, and shifting data. As much as I want to believe this will be over soon, I know the end isn’t quite in site. So I’m learning to live in limbo. It’s a hard lesson, isn’t it? Letting go of the past and embracing the present—however messy and uncertain it feels. Here are a few…
Above All Else––A Message for Weary Souls
As this over-the-top-difficult year wears on and hopes for a summer reprieve or a maskless fall fade, my mind can struggle to muster up positivity. I’ve heard I’m not alone. Apparently many of us wrestle with the lack of normalcy, inability to plan a way forward, and uncertainty of how long “this” will last.
Imagine There’s No Lennon
“Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try. No hell below us, above us only sky…” I find the above one of the saddest thoughts ever put to music. Unfortunately this song has become the Humanist theme song. At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and shutdown, a bunch of celebrities decided to sing this song acapella and share it with the world… for some reason. Why? It is a melancholy, hopeless song… at least on the surface. And John Lennon is dead. Imagine there is no heaven, no place where people finally find rest from a life of toil and struggle, pain and sorrow. Imagine there is nothing…
What Could Responses to Mask Wearing Tell Us About Ourselves?
Masks were used in the 1600’s plague by doctorsand in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic by the public. Meriam-Webster defines a mask as-a protective covering for the face; a comparable device to prevent exhalation of infectious material. Masks have been around for a long time. With COVID-19, the wearing of masks has resurfaced and has become a divisive topic among church goers. Both sides seem passionate about their choice. I have been a Christian for about 40 years and I have not witnessed a division like this before. Admittedly, school choices, hymn versus choruses, and vaccinations have caused some divisions. These topics might have been as divisive, but with time…