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Distanced Socializing Devotional- 37

For Thursday, our devotion was prepared by Susie Dunn, a member of Christ UMC.


Scripture Psalm 30:4-5 – Joy Comes in the Morning


Sing to Yahweh, you His faithful ones, and praise His holy name.

For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor, a lifetime. Weeping may spend the night, but there is joy in the morning.

Reflection

Like many, I am working from home. Although not as smooth or efficient as working in my office, I am able to work from home and get projects completed. Reading, research, and writing have always been part of my workday and remain so. These days, an ongoing theme appearing in nearly everything I read is Covid-19 and how it has upended and irreversibly changed life, as we once knew it. Perhaps the only constants in the disruption generated by the virus are uncertainty, fear, and grief.

No one knows how to plan for the future when the unseen adversary is unfamiliar. Although some people make reference to the 1918 influenza pandemic, there are no comparable reference points from which to make even an educated guess. How does one plan when the virus may return with a vengeance? Will it come later this year or will it linger for years, waxing and waning seemingly capriciously?

People are experiencing all kinds of losses right now: jobs that have been eliminated, routines and options that are now restricted, and the countless ways we've had to give up our well-established ways of living, working, and studying. Additionally, there is the loss of life: family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and others who have died. It is virtually certain that many will contract COVID-19. Even if none of us contracts the virus, we will know people who do succumb.

Thanks to a weekly newszine, I recently read an article from the March 23, 2020 Harvard Business Review that speaks to this season of uncertainty: "The Discomfort You're Feeling is Grief.” (https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief) It is a conversation with grief expert David Kessler, who worked with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Kessler recently identified Meaning as a sixth stage of grief. I believe the article can help us better recognize, anticipate, and manage some of the whirl of emotions that many have been experiencing.

All of these losses, the small ones and the big ones, the temporary and the permanent deserve to be recognized, acknowledged, and grieved. In addition, extra care must be extended since these losses have come in an already stressful time when we are unable to gather and support each other. That means feeling all your emotions, thinking all the thoughts, and giving space and grace for sadness, frustration, confusion, and hurt. Oh, and celebration to acknowledge the memories and the gifts that are providentially left behind in the face of loss.


Prayer

Lord, we may not yet recognize it, but grief is a part of our inner journey through this pandemic. Help us in our grief by being with us and remind us that you are always there, bringing us joy in the morning - the joy that is your very presence.

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