By Hannah Moody
It took me a while to understand that life goes on during a pandemic.
Birds still chirp. Rain still falls. Leaves still turn. We still have responsibilities whether it’s school, work, family life; we still have our obligations to do. So why can it be so hard to realize this? With a mix of anxiety and grief during this past year, it has been difficult for me to comprehend this. And I don’t like it.
I don’t like that I can’t observe Epiphany or Advent like I previously have. And now, during this special season of Lent, it has been difficult. This might sound strange, but it’s almost like I am disengaged with the experience of these significant seasons of the liturgical calendar.
So how can I, how do we as Christians, recognize this season of Lent after a year of a pandemic? How can we be present?
There are certain steps I have had to take during the pandemic to really be present; one of them being time. Taking time for myself to check in. How am I doing? How am I feeling? With time, I can be still and breathe. I have used this stillness and the practice of meditation. We see many times in the Bible stories and passages about meditation and prayer.
Philippians 4:8 says: “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Think about these things even if they’re lamentations. We can allow ourselves to lament. It is okay to feel sad. It is okay to feel sorrow even anger. Meditate on that, and as we lament, let’s look forward with hope. Even though the pandemic is not over, we see hope. Just like the hope Easter brings.
So I challenge you, those who are reading this, to take time and listen to yourself. While doing so, listen to God. What is She saying to you? How is She bringing you hope?
Romans 5:13 says: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
I pray this for myself. I pray this for you in this season of Lent. It may be difficult to find hope in the grieving that the pandemic has brought and will continue to bring. But my hope for you is that the death and resurrection of Jesus will bring you comfort and reassurance. Comfort for when you are feeling overwhelmed. Reassurance for when you are experiencing self-doubt. And ultimately hope for when you are weary. Amen.
Hannah Moody is a CBF Leadership Scholar in her final semester at Baptist Seminary of Kentucky currently pursuing an M.Div. with a concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling. She received her B.A. from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and currently serves as the Pastoral Resident at Georgetown Baptist Church of Georgetown, Ky.