I’ve been teaching a meditation class during Lent. This past Friday, we had our last class together. During our check-in, one of my students said that she has been encouraged and heartened by the level of forbearance, forgiveness, and grace that is being shown among coworkers in her place of business. These are such stressful, fearful, and uncertain times. Everyone around us is struggling to keep going, to keep up, and to keep hopeful. We are all doing our best, even if it does not feel like much. Among my friend and her coworkers, people seem to be aware of this and they are extending forbearance, forgiveness, and grace to each other.
I have heard folks wonder how this pandemic will change our world forever. What practices have we had to take on that we will keep long after the virus leaves? What words, phrases, and ideas will become a permanent part of our vocabulary after the headlines cease to report this disease? What cracks in our social, political, and economic infrastructure will remain and what will be repaired and strengthened? We cannot know yet how we will be forever changed, but we all have an inkling that we will.
One hope I have is that the forbearance, forgiveness, and grace that we are extending to each other will continue long after the wounds of this pandemic have healed. I hope that our allowances for each other’s stress, fear, and uncertainty will become habit, and that these habits will harden into character traits. I hope that we will always remember the grace, forgiveness, and forbearance we have been shown and will extend it into the future.
I am reminded of these words from Romans 12:
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
I can think of no better words of advice for how we are to be with each other now and always!
May you be safe and well,