Can a Deeper Faith Transform our COVID-19 Experience?
Jul 11, 2020
This is a blog I was guided to write nearly two years ago, and while going through the process of moving my website to another platform, it popped up and grabbed my attention for several reasons:
- I realized that the Coronavirus is still a lingering concern for many of us, as reporting in the news suggests its new versions are resulting in an increase in the number of individuals experiencing its symptoms; in fact, many of us know of friends and family members suffering its effects after taking cruises or traveling by air to visit others. The number of individuals being hospitalized is on the rise again, and word of nursing homes and senior care facilities moving into a lockdown status for the same reasons is also being revisited.
- We, as a nation, are now witnessing the deep divide as the January 6th Commission unfolds on our TV screens and other news media outlets.
- We continue to see the war that is happening in Ukraine, the pointless and inhumane destruction Putin is commanding in an effort to take over control of the entire neighboring country, and we wonder: “Are we doing enough to support Ukraine’s effort to remain a democracy?”
So a question I asked in my two-year-old blog is well worth re-considering right now, along with a spiritual solution: “How might a deeper faith transform how I experience this Coronavirus pandemic [as well as the January 6th Commission divide and the Russian war on Ukraine] and its far-reaching effects? A conviction that God is in the midst of this, and I can rest assured that it is so!” Here is the remainder of that blog.
As any of you who read my blogs on a regular basis know, I am often gifted with a thought worthy of more consideration when I read the message for the day from Mark Nepo’s book, “The Book of Awakening.” And today was one of those days.
Mark wrote of how we humans “suffer the uncertainty of being hurt by the life that surrounds us,…” He goes on to speak of how, being gripped by fear, we strike back or defend ourselves, how we also sometimes let that fear dictate whether or not we allow others into our lives and, in so doing, may miss out on what might have been.
Well, I could certainly relate to that. And it got me to thinking about our current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of our times, an uncertainty that weaves its way into many aspects of our lives. Our sense of security, for ourselves and for our families and friends, emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually.
The strength of my faith came to mind and I asked myself, “Just how deep is my faith? Do my thoughts, words and actions all align with the deep faith I like to feel I have and do my daily experiences all reflect that deep faith?” And the answer is “No, not always” because there are those moments when I read the latest reports on the alarming increase in new COVID-19 cases and the rising number of deaths, when I see and hear about the struggle others are going through, and my generally peaceful state of mind becomes clouded with concern.
I wonder how I can move so quickly from a state of mind that is lifted by my faith and my experience of so much gratitude for the life I am living, for the opportunities to write as I do, to serve my neighborhood and spiritual community in small but meaningful ways, and to share my life with the love of my life, to one of unease?
So, to my question, “How might a deeper faith transform how I experience this COVID-19 pandemic and its far-reaching effects? A conviction that “God is in the midst of this and I can rest assured that it is so!” And what might that look like? Does it mean I can take what seem to me to be risky steps, steps I see many others taking, like no longer wearing masks or maintaining social distancing, like eating out in restaurants?
My question brings to mind recollections of having listened to others on the spiritual path say things like, “I just put the White Light around me and I know I have nothing to fear and can go about my business.” And I was left with the impression that they somehow had greater faith than I, that they knew something I didn’t know, and that was the reason, that I was missing something in my quest for spiritual enlightenment.
The truth be told, I don’t have an answer to my own question because I’m not a psychic. However, I can look back on my life and compare the life I was living at various earlier points in time and the level of my faith in those times, compared to now, and the level of calm and sense of peace is very different! and so I am left being comfortable with that, knowing I am, for the most part, living my life one moment at a time, with that renewed sense of excitement about what’s next in my life and feeling immense gratitude for each day and what it brings with it. And also knowing there is more work for me to do. One moment at a time. And I am also left curious as to how others might respond to the question, what your experience might be.