An Unlikely Holiday

I am facing a dichotomy of realities. Yesterday we sat on our deck and ate BBQ in our bare feet. I felt like I was camping. It was glorious. Quality time as family. Not rushing around. When people ask how I am doing with all of these society pandemic changes my first response is “I can’t complain”. To do so would feel utterly immoral. Sure there are little things as there is every day and I miss my friends and family terribly. But mostly it just feels like summer break or holiday has come early. And if I stayed in a little bubble that feeling would remain.

But the news is devastating. The pressure, fears and conspiracy theories are rising as fast as the economy is falling. And it is hard to even think about the images representing loss of life. But I do, and I think about the all other ways that lives are being lost that aren’t proclaimed in the media every day.

And so the pendulum swings between a lovely time at home and horror over what is making me stay home. To call these quieter days holiday almost seems a cruel mockery of other’s suffering.

The pendulum swings again as I think about grief. I just heard a fabulous presentation about processing loss and it is important to name it. So I know I said at the beginning of this post that it would feel immoral for me to complain because my circumstances are not the same as some others but it is also important to acknowledge the losses in my life and not belittle them when compared to what others are going through. I feel the loss of hugs and child care, the sadness of walking away from my neighbours instead of toward them. Freedom and being in crowds, travel and feeling safe in the grocery store, taking public transit.

What do we call this strange time? Unprecedented is the word I hear a lot for this season. And it is. Every day I feel the weight of life not being normal. Standing in the tension of changes that are both helpful and sad lead me to look up the definition of holiday. The definition is two words: holy day. A day set a part. A day that is not ordinary. This is a season that I did not choose and I don’t know how long it will be. It’s kind of like being stuck on a desert island. The weather may be beautiful and the fruit may be delicious but there is so much out of my control.

I think about my daughter Elaina and how one minute she may be picking daisies and in total bliss and the next minute she is screaming and totally upset. Life feels kind of like that right now. A lot of anchors have been taken away. Which comes with blessings and disappointments.

So God, I lift this day, this time, this season to you. You know the end from the beginning and You are with us through it all. I pray for those who are lonely, for those who are sick, for those who are scared. I pray for those who have to go to work and for those who can’t go to work. I pray for our leaders and scientists and doctors who carry heavy loads trying to find a solution. I pray for those who feel like they are forgotten in the midst of it all. Holy Spirit, thank you that you comfort, You bring life where there is death. In this unprecedented unplanned holy day set apart from the ordinary may we find new strength and know that you walk with us. Amen.

Ps. Holy Fish! While looking up the meaning of the word holiday I found a very interesting tidbit about halibut here.

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