“How are you doing?” It is a question I have now heard and said many times in the past month. It is a difficult question to answer with a great many complexities. Do we have our health, can we pay our bills, can we put food on the table, can we say the same for our friends and loved ones? Then the next layer: How many degrees of separation are there between you and those whose answers to all these questions begin to sound sad, or challenging or perhaps even tragic? These are uncertain questions for uncertain times.
And yet, here we are, a faith community dedicated to love of neighbor, love of justice, love of equality and compassion, trying, as so many are, to understand our role in all of this complexity. It’s OK to worry about ourselves, our families and our loved ones. It is not only OK, but totally expected in times like these. It is also OK to worry about where we are headed as a society. Not only OK, but totally expected.
People who have suffered a loss will grieve, and grief doesn’t have a predictable pattern. In fact, the only predictable pattern is that there isn’t one. Grief will come and go; it will overtake you and then slip away. There is no one right way; it happens as it happens. As overwhelming as grief can be, there is a difference between grieving and coping. You can be in deep grief and still be coping just fine in the world. Yet sometimes grief can take the form of a lack of ability to cope. When that happens, we may need assistance.
We need to be here for each other in these times. It is very possible some of the anger, frustration, impatience or sadness some of us have been experiencing is just plain old grief, or the current loss of what we have known and our uncertainty about the future. And once again, it is not only OK, but totally expected in times like these. This is why we have set up the Circles of Care groups. This is why we have worship on Sunday. This is why we are supporting our small-group ministry program. This is why we are singing together on Wednesday nights, checking in with each other on Thursday nights and helping our children through the continuance of our Religious Exploration program.
If you need any support, please reach out to Rev. Alice King or me or the Pastoral Care Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need any short-term financial assistance, please reach out to me directly. We are all helping each other cope through uncertain times and will continue to do so, for that is why we are here – always have been and, hopefully, always will be.