What a crazy time we are living in right now. People are feeling isolated, disconnected from their usual routine and companions. It can make us sad, depressed, and lonely. However, it can also cause us to become more introspective. Looking within often allows for personal growth, and a positive result of this growth may be that we become more God-focused and therefore, “other people”-focused.
I am a nurse and have been in my career for almost 30 years. At the present time, I work in the Ambulatory Care, or Outpatient Department of a local hospital. The negative aspects of my job during this time include fear of exposure to the virus, both for me and for my immune-compromised patients, as well as the constant bombardment of news updates. I am not one of the front-liners per se, but I hear first-hand of their frustrations, stress, and exhaustion, and I pray for them daily. The positive aspects of my job, besides getting to be in a career that I love, is being able to focus on the care of another, to try and care for them physically as well as emotionally, mentally and sometimes even spiritually. This takes the “me” out of the equation. It helps me to step outside of myself and my own needs, worries, and frustrations, and focus on someone else for a change. Though my work easily allows me to put others over myself, I still struggle to continue that practice in my everyday life.
It is so easy to become very “me”-centric in this society and in our world. Especially now, we all have so many concerns, some small and some big. Our issues range anywhere from how to fight the boredom, to how to shop and get what we need safely, to unemployment. Though it can be difficult, particularly now, if we still try to focus more of our attention on others, we become more Christ-like. If we turn our attention to serving others, rather than putting ourselves first or worrying about what’s in it for me or what I need, then we are imitating Jesus when he washed His disciple’s feet at the Last Supper. He was the Master, but he became the servant, and He instructed His disciples and therefore us, to do the same.
We can see this type of serving being done in many ways. At our own CHS, there are the Food Pantry workers that continue to minister to those in need. Volunteers that have been reaching out to parishioners with calls. The Prayer Shawl ministry continues to create beautiful wraps of love and comfort. At CHS, the list could go on.
There are people learning how to make and then donate homemade masks to people who need them. Businesses donating supplies and treats to those helping the sick. Teachers expanding their knowledge of teaching to the virtual realm and parents, family members and friends helping the students cope with this new form of learning.
There are friends and family who “check in” by texting, calling, Zooming, etc to see how others are doing. Family members who are there for each other every day doing the ordinary tasks of life with extraordinary care and love for one another.
Each of us can think of at least one person who would benefit from us reaching out to them in some way. We all need to work on putting aside our own needs for a time, and to “wash the feet” of another in service, just as Jesus taught us by his example.
Until we are together worshiping at our CHS home again, please stay hopeful, safe and healthy. In closing, I would like to leave you with a verse from Matt Maher’s song “Alive and Breathing”-
“Joy still comes in the morning, Hope still walks with the hurting. If you’re still alive and breathing, Praise the Lord. Don’t stop dancing and dreaming, There’s still Good News worth repeating. So lift your head and keep singing, Praise the Lord!”