Today is Earth Day, and I honor the work of the Fellowship’s environmental committee. We are all called to honor and protect the Earth; we are all drawn to connect with the Earth which is life-giving.
I sense in myself, in the community, and in the nation these days a restlessness. The limitations of the coronavirus shut-down are affecting our mood. We long to know when it will end, and how. We are restless to be out and mingle and have our sense of normal life back. This is exacerbated, I think, by the spring time. Days are longer and we want to be gardening and walking. We want to be in parks and concerts and church services with people again.
In the anti-lockdown protests this week I see that feeling taking shape in a negative way.
I think of it this way: all the social distancing we are doing now, mostly voluntarily, is what we know is good for us–but it’s unpleasant. Like eating vegetables instead of cake. And the government telling us to stick with the social distancing is like the parent telling the child to eat their vegetables. A mature and emotionally grounded person knows that eating vegetables is good for them, and they have discipline around their diet and they grow to enjoy the vegetables. They can forgo the cake for a long time, even indefinitely. We all have that part within us. But we also have that other part. The part that really wants the cake, and gets mad at the parent telling us to eat the vegetables.
In this coronavirus lockdown, there is a part of us willing to keep engaging with the self-discipline to isolate and wear masks. And there is the part of us that resents the situation and wants someone to blame. This is what I see in those who are protesting in Lansing and other cities this week.
It is tiring to continue to summon the self-discipline to save lives and slow the spread of the virus by choosing social distancing and hand washing day after day after day. When we slip, we should forgive ourselves and keep trying to do our best. When I recognize that there is a part of me that wants to rebel against these rules, just like the protestors are doing, I have more compassion for them.
Spirit of Life and Love, we are weary with the restrictions of this shut-down. We long for human contact, we long to relax our discipline around distancing and sanitation.
We see the strain of the shut-down erupting in negative ways: anger, blame, conflict.
May we be patient with ourselves as we summon the strength every day to make good choices for the health of all.
May we reject blame, anger, and judging others, which does not help.
May we grow in love for all of our fellow humans, with no exceptions. May the elders who are sick with covid disease be loved and at peace. May the doctors and nurses be loved and at peace. May the angry protestors with their guns and their flags be loved and be at peace. May I be loved at peace. May you be loved and at peace.
May all be loved and at peace.
Amen. Blessed be.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
Drew's office hours are suspended until further notice. However, he is reachable at any time via email, phone, or text.
Day off: Monday
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