Tuesday, April 7, 2020

I have read several articles in the past couple of days that defines our shared experience in this time of pandemic as grief.

And, I have to be honest with you, I don’t get it.

When I think of grief, I think of when I entered into the funeral home for Grandma Judy’s reviewal and saw her body in a casket. This primordial shriek came out of me. I have never heard that sound before, and I have no idea where it came from.

Or I think of the tears that came whenever I would hear “How Great Thou Art” because it would take me back to Grandma Bernice’s funeral service.

Or I think of the absolute numbness that I felt for months – maybe even years – after my late husband died.

I don’t feel any of those things now – how can this be grief?

Then I read an article published in the Harvard Business Review interviewing David Kessler, grief guru, on this time of global pandemic grief.
Kessler co-wrote a book on the stages of grief with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. In the article he states:
• There’s denial, which we say a lot of early on: This virus won’t affect us.
• There’s anger: You’re making me stay home and taking away my activities.
• There’s bargaining: Okay, if I social distance for two weeks everything will be better, right?
• There’s sadness: I don’t know when this will end.
• And finally there’s acceptance. This is happening; I have to figure out how to proceed.

Ok, now I get it. I guess I am grieving. Truthfully, I think – in mass – WE ALL are grieving. We ALL are experiencing these same feelings of denial and anger, bargaining and sadness at the same time.

How do we, in the midst of this corporate grief, take care of each other?

There is really nothing left for us to lean on when everyone is in a state of grief but God.

That is ok, because, you see, God is bigger than our grief. God is bigger than our fear.

In 1 John 4:18 we hear the antidote to fear – the antidote to grief… it is perfect love.

God’s perfect love for creation assures us that, even when we face hardship and pain, we do not face it alone.

God’s perfect love flowing through us gives us the wisdom and strength to reach out beyond closed doors and quarantines to continue to care for our neighbor.

When we do that, church, we ease our own grief – and each other’s grief.

Let us pray:
Loving God, may your perfect love remind us that the troubles of this world will not have the last say. Your love, grace and peace will equip us to face whatever this unknown time may bring. Use us, Lord, to share your love in creative ways and to remind others that they are not alone.
In Jesus Name,