Uncertainty in the Time of Pandemic
July 30, 2020|
by Linda Cherek
In times of uncertainty, of not knowing, we may encounter the challenge of questioning where is God in this pandemic? When we are not sure how long it will take for Covid 19 to be gone or at least managed, or the “pandemics” of racism, white supremacy and our current political divide to be healed, uncertainty becomes more real to us. We question, we may become fearful or feel paralyzed to respond.
In Psalms for Praying by Nan C Merrill, we explore Psalm 43 in relation to uncertainty. In the first verse she writes: “ Bring justice to the people, O Beloved, and strength on my behalf to stand firm against oppression”. The writer is asking God to pay attention to what is being asked for in this prayer. This Psalm is a prayer for deliverance and guidance. I imagine we can all relate to hoping for deliverance and guidance from what we are facing every day.
How do we do this, how do we notice God’s presence in our everyday lives in the midst of Covid 19 and the unrest related to justice and racism? How do we find a way to cope with the worry of getting sick? As Ignatius tells us, be present in the present, notice in your day when God is present, notice where God is present. When a friend calls unexpectedly, or you receive a card or email you did not expect, God is present. The moments when you take time to smell, taste and see summer, or see yourself, your spouse/partner or children in a new light are moments of experiencing God’s presence and strength, given to help you stand firm in what you do know, even when you are feeling uncertain.
When you have the words to express yourself in a courageous conversation, God is present. What we pray for in these uncertain times will come in ways we might least expect. Having an intention to notice God in all things, even as we struggle with what we do not know, is the anchor to hold us and ground us in the certainty of God’s care. There is a lot we cannot control, however, we can make a choice about how we want to respond to what we are facing.
At the end of Psalm 43, it says “ O my soul, open the door to Love! Yes! Let us sing a song of diversity, a song of Oneness and Unity.” Love is what will get us through; Love is what allows us to cope with our experience of uncertainty. Love, hope and trust are what will bring us together to heal from the virus and heal from the hate and divisiveness.
God invites us to notice Love. Love will fill any loss of hope created by uncertainty. Imagine in this moment, Jesus is sitting next to you, leaning in wanting to hear every word you are speaking, bringing the love and care of his Father and placing it deep within your heart. What do you notice? Let whatever it is cover any uncertainty with the Love that will get us through!