BY REV. DAVID MERRITT
Up until a few weeks ago, I had imagined a world with less restrictions. Then, without warning, my wife tested positive for COVID-19 and we went into a self-imposed quarantine. The illusion that we were in control soon faded and many of the initial questions from a year ago came flooding back into our world.
The daily selections of Daily Text scriptures and my subscription to a meditative moment from St. Francis De Sales has reminded me that even when we are tested, God gives us hope through The Word and through God’s Saints. I am grateful for all the prayers and thoughts of hope sent our way. I am mindful of the larger community of faith that we are part of in our lives too. All of these “prayers of hope” have made these days live-able.
The other issue in these days of uncertainty is the constant quest for knowledge. We have many streams of information coming our way but often without the aid of health care professionals, we are left with more questions than real answers. In the age of information, we seemingly feel less informed and more at risk. The world of “high tech” is not necessarily the world of “high touch.”
Perhaps, that is where compassion, community, trust, and connections are linked into a healthier lifestyle for our lives today. With compassion, we are able to empathize with another’s situation. With community, we are connected to others in a real way. Trust allows us to form bonds of intimacy with another, and in the world of faith, our connection to God and to others allows us to find reassurance.
If you have been in a “lockdown” situation at church, work, or at home, know that the God of all ages hears your deepest desires and gives you hope even in the midst of the constant flood of information. Lean on others (Doctors, Microbiologists, etc) who can provide you with vital and informed opinions, and with the passage of time, the Spirit will guide you into “All Truth.” Continue to incorporate compassion, community, trust, and connections in your faith walk.
In two weeks, we will be able to be out more frequently in public and return to church. Yes, we will be more aware of our surroundings and more diligent in our attempts to be safe and good neighbors to others. So in the words of my inspiration in education and children’s ministry, Mr. Rogers I leave with you this thought: It’s You I Like by Fred Rogers:
It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair
But it’s you I like
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys
They’re just beside you.
But it’s you I like
Every part of you.
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself
It’s you I like.
UPDATE: Since the writing of this blog post, David and Terri Merritt are both COVID-19-free and recovered.
The Rev. David Merritt is a retired Pastor, former Dean, Outreach Director, and Chaplain, but he’s “papa” according to his grand-kids. David loves God, Laurel Ridge, and his family. He has enough sense to get out of the rain but prefers raindrops anyway.