Steven Curtis Chapman’s new video release, Together (We’ll Get Through This), captures the realities, faces and images thus far, of COVID-19. The lyrics offer a compelling trajectory of hope in persevering together. Listen to it as soon as you can and be encouraged.
The sudden onslaught of this virus and subsequent quarantine came with the words—take cover, shelter in, wash your hands, wear a mask. It also came with new fears, confusion, strange feelings, unfettered emotions and an odd kind of inertia. We found ourselves enmeshed in the sheltering in, the shut downs and closures; no access to loved ones in nursing home, obsessive hand washing and face masks; high school and college graduation ceremonies cancelled; weddings postponed or shifted to a small family gathering.
Five weeks into this global pandemic of wearing masks, sheltering in, washing our hands, becoming proficient on Zoom, we wonder, what’s next? When do we get out? We may not have the answers to those questions yet, but we can reflect on the soul impact on all of this so far. In this reflecting several things surface.
There is the irony of our being shaken juxtaposed with finding shelter. We are offered in scripture a safe place to hide. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1). And, in the midst of crisis, we are offered a sustaining Presence. “I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8). He is the One with whom we need to get through this in the company of others—together.
It’s like the volume has been turned up in my soul and I am noticing everything with great intensity.
- The value of lament. I did not connect the virus impact with grief until reading Dr. Steve Macchia’s piece, Permission to Lament: A Legitimate Response to COVID-19. Understanding the place of lament offered insight to my feelings and confusion. God gives permission to lament. Half the Psalms are Psalms of lament. The word “lament” defined by Webster is: crying out in grief, wailing, complaining, mourning, regretting strongly. This puts words around what we corporately are experiencing. It turns out I am not the only one.
- The relief from pressure of having to have all the answers. We do not have to have an answer for this pandemic. Dr. Macchia’s article on permission to grieve was sparked by an article, Christianity Offers No Answers About the Coronavirus. It’s Not Supposed To, by author N.T. Wright who wrote:
“It is no part of the Christian vocation, then, to be able to explain what’s happening and why. In fact, it is part of the Christian vocation not to be able to explain—and to lament instead. As the Spirit laments within us, so we become, even in our self-isolation, small shrines where the presence and healing love of God can dwell. And out of that there can emerge new possibilities, new acts of kindness, new scientific understanding, new hope.”
- You don’t stop living or serving because of this virus. Dr. Michelle Pokorny offers creative ways and practical tips on serving during COVID-19 in her article, Love Your Neighbor from Six Feet Away: Serving Others During COVID-19.
- The importance of resting in the sovereignty of God. We have an invitation in this time to realize God IS sovereign. This pandemic does not take Him by surprise. We can rest in the days that were ordained for us and be still. Creativity asserts itself when you give your soul time to restore. Exhaustion and fear sap creativity and the ability to make good decisions. Inertia sets in along with thoughts of, “What’s the use? Why does it matter? Will I ever get out again?”
- Choosing the attitude that we humans will get through this together. This idea SO resonates in my soul. We are NOT alone. As believers in Christ we have been placed into the Body of Christ and access to the Trinity. The Lord, as our High Priest never stops interceding for us enabling us by His Spirit to be salt and light to a broken world. Stephan Curtis Chapman’s, Together (We’ll Get Through This), has pictures on the video showing the story of people are pulling together, honoring one another, thanking those on the front lines sacrificing their lives and serving all of us. This song is a glorious gift to the body of Christ in the middle of this pandemic. You will be singing the chorus and it will encourage you to stay the course and not give up.
- Making good choices when returning to normal. Will life as we knew it ever be the same? Can we return to normal after the impact of this shock, suddenness, shift and loss? Do we want to return to the “normal” we had? Consider this lovely post from England reflectively and retrospectively. It highlights the positive impact of this virus realigning our priorities to a better way to live: The Great Realisation.
Are we willing to do what it will take to slow down, to create space for God and each other—a new normal?
What invitations do you sense from Him as you wait for all to open up?
Read the Psalms. They offer great insight and hope. Take Him up on His offers. “I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears…taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him” (Psalm 34:4, 8).
1. Steven Curtis Chapman: Together (We’ll Get Through This)
2. Dr. Steve Macchia: Permission to Lament: A Legitimate Response to COVID-19
3. Tomos Roberts: The Great Realisation
5. Picture Credit: Google Images