...Hiya, gang. I don’t even know where to begin. I had another article started, about appreciation, and I discussed it with my friend/mentor… Not so much the content, not yet, as it was still pretty raw. To be fair, by the time y’all see anything hit my blog, it’s gone over by me at least a couple times and at least once with my friend/mentor.
Right now… I was going to try to track down that article I’d originally started, to try to whip it into shape somehow… but nope. I’ve changed my mind. I feel it’s far more necessary to speak on this COVID-19 thing that’s hit our country and has rendered a lot of us – admittedly, myself included in that – feeling crippled with frustration and confusion.
Now, y’all know that I generally try to keep things pretty upbeat and light-hearted around here. What I am about to say, I need to say it, because I think we all can agree, this is a pretty scary situation.
I don’t know where you are in the world, Reader. I’m in America. While no, I’m not one to bury my head in the sand and ignore the very real mountain lions salivating as they circle me, I have tried to ignore this as best I can. This week, things have become quite apparent to me that this is not something that is to be ignored. This is much worse than setting a screaming toddler down and walking away to let her cry it out and then come back when she’s calm again. This is so much bigger than that.
I am not going to sit here and blow smoke in your face and say, ‘Nah, it’s cool, everything’s cool.’ Because it most assuredly is not.
The thing is, though, we need to remember, too, Who is in charge. It ain’t us! It’s our Beloved Lord. Last night, we were told, in graphic, gory detail, what is going to happen. The thing is… this isn’t just ‘media hype because it’s an election year,’ it’s a legit concern.
I am not intending to scare you all to make you terrified, but my intention is, entirely, to make you aware of how serious the gravity of this issue. People, we need to be super careful.
Overall, I’m a lot more concerned about this situation than I let on. Honestly, I’m equally concerned as I am fascinated as I am, well, bluntly stated, worried. Yes, I make jokes about Zombie Apocalypse stuff, but you know what? I deflect a lot of my discomfort with humour. Last night, when we were sitting in the Presence of our Beloved Lord, I knew I needed to pray, but I couldn’t think. All I could do was say, ‘Beloved, I know I need to pour out my heart right now, but… honestly? I got nothin’.’ I know He understood what I was trying to say. I also know, with all my heart, that He knows what I wanted to say, what I wasn’t able to voice to Him.
This situation has me devastated, let’s be blunt here. When I got the text that our President had called for a National Prayer day thing, and I was asked if I wanted to come to the parish to join in, I did not hesitate, I said yes. Absolutely, yes. Our numbers were few, but I wanted to just crawl into my Beloved’s Lap and cuddle up to His Sacred Heart.
To be honest, too, I couldn’t help but notice how sad my priest looked last night. I wanted so badly to reach out and hug him and not let go of him. I’ve never hugged him before, but last night, I wanted to. I didn’t dare because of this virus going around, and how easily contractible it is. How we can accidentally bump into someone at the store and they could have it and not even know, and we could get it that way… scary stuff! My priest is no youngster, either. Mentally, he’s sharp as a tack, but physically, let’s face it, the guy is older. No one is safe, obviously, but the elderly are more susceptible, as are young, young people, and the immuno-compromised. My priest, far as I’m aware, isn’t immuno-compromised, thankfully, but his age concerns me.
I’ve given this a lot of thought, and even now, I can’t help but sit here and fight back the tears that are demanding to run down my face. So many lives have been cut too short because of this illness, and there are still so, so many people out there who are still very sick.
Our world is a mess, right, but it’s become even worse because of this COVID-19 thing. Last night after we were done in the Church, one of my friends noticed something on his FB on his phone that made him laugh, and he shared it with us. I admit, I laughed, and I admit, yes, I shared it with everyone I knew would get a laugh from it:
‘This Coronavirus thing is God’s way of sending us to our rooms so we’ll be nicer to each other.’ You know what? That’s not something that’s far-fetched to me. Our world, let’s face it, has gone nuts. With all the craziness going on, is it any wonder God’s going to allow something to get our attention in such a big way to get us to stop and say, ‘Oh, dear…’ Something this serious, we’re all sitting up and paying very close attention, aren’t we? Not unlike when our parents have had ‘enough’ and they make it abundantly clear how bad we’ve messed up and we need to go to our rooms and think about what we’ve done.
This situation, honestly, is not any different, right, we’re being given yet another wake-up call that we’ve done messed up and God’s not happy.
Honestly, I’m sure there’s going to be some backlash about this post, and I really am in a place right now where I don’t honestly care who I offend. Y’all need to be aware of the gravity of this situation, it’s not to be swept under the proverbial rug, ‘oh, it'll all blow over soon.’ NO. IT WON’T.
One thing, too, that breaks my heart is knowing that Mass isn’t accessible right now. The thing is, I love to go to Mass. I love being in my Beloved’s Presence! I was talking to my friend last night about this and mentioned that I’m heartbroken that I’ve finally found what I’ve been searching for my entire life, and now, I feel like it’s been snatched away from me. My friend said, ‘Ah, but think of how much more you’re going to appreciate the Mass when you’re able to start going again, true?’ He isn’t wrong. I mean, think about it, we appreciate things more when we’ve been separated from them for a while. Whether it’s being separated from a group of friends because we’ve been away because of an illness, or maybe we’ve been away because of work has kept us too busy to even connect with each other because of whatever reason, but when we’re able to reconnect, it’s not only like we can pick up where we left off, but that connection is deeper because ‘Friend! I missed you so much! How have things been for you?’
I wasn’t able to go to Mass on Wednesday because of a bad brain day (I have C-PTSD, so sometimes my brain isn’t very kind to me and it makes it hard for me to interact not just with my immediate surroundings, but with those I love to be around), and then Friday I ended up staying home because of this COVID-19 issue has me concerned enough to stay home. I didn’t go to Mass yesterday (it’s after midnight here, so it’s Monday now as I write this), because again, this COVID-19 issue. I’m, personally, not sick. I’m too much of a germophobe, and for once, I see my ‘bad brain days’ as a blessing because it helps me to stay away from people when I need to collect myself.
Here’s the deal, though: I don’t like being separated from my Beloved Jesus. I don’t like that I can’t go be in His Presence, especially right now, because I need Him. I need to know that He’s just feet away from me. Sure, I know that He’s still aware of me and He still can hear and see me. I know that He still interacts with me, and I know that He isn’t just at the parish, He’s right here, with me, even as I type this out.
Right now, I’m sitting here just overwhelmed. My friends were trying to talk to me last night, noticing that I was quiet, that I barely spoke. I normally don’t shut up when I’m around people I love. I don’t shut up with jokes and silliness when I’m around people that I enjoy being around. Last night, I just couldn’t bring myself to be silly, I couldn’t wrap my head around any of what was being discussed. I mean, when we were praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy together, I led one of the decades for it, and I fought, hard, the tears that were threatening to come. I can’t stop crying now. I can’t stop thinking about the graphic videos I’ve seen, I can’t stop thinking about all those innocent people who’ve lost their lives to this horrible illness.
I can’t stop wondering when this is going to be cured, so we can sit back and catch our breath. Honestly, I’ve barely had an appetite because of the concern I have not just for the world, but for my parish family. I don’t see them as just friends, but I love them and consider them family. When I first met these wonderful human beings, I wasn’t much of a hugger, but now? I want to hug them all tight and I can’t. I’m too scared, because of that question of, ‘What if…?’
I’m sitting here just praying and begging for answers. I’m sitting here trying to catch my breath, to calm my mind and remember, ‘Jesus is in charge, and He’s going to take care of it all.’
This, right here, this COVID-19, has me certainly appreciating each and every one of those wonderful people in my parish, and those in my tiny social circle outside of the parish, all of the warm embraces. It’s been just a few days and I already miss them. I wasn’t much of a hugger at first like I said, but now that I need a hug, I can’t have one. Now that we all need a hug, we can’t do it, because of this very dangerous situation, something so simple could turn so deadly.
Honestly, I don’t know what to say that hasn’t been said already. I don’t know where I wanted to go with this, but I will end this with a simple statement:
Jesus is in charge. He is going to get this all sorted out. Nothing on this earth happens unless He sends it or He permits it. This, I personally feel, is something He is using to get our attention. To reiterate what was shared earlier, ‘This is God’s way of sending us to our rooms so we will be nicer to each other.’
May we use this as a sound and solid lesson: Not just to take better care of ourselves in our health, but to be more considerate of those around us: if you are sick, stay home until you are 100% better. If you have to cough, cough into your elbow. If you sneeze, grab a kleenex before you do and cover your face with it! WASH YOUR HANDS! For the love of all things sparkly and shiny in the world, have some consideration for those around you! We have to share this planet, we all have to be considerate of our surroundings and the people around us, whether or not we directly interact with them.
We need to use this time to learn from it and go forward knowing that this could’ve been prevented, and we can prevent this from happening if we take precautions.
Wake up, y’all. We may not get another chance!