A time for everything: my ‘spiritual’ response to this global crisis

Well hello there!

Little did I know when I reached the end of the Book Of Revelation at the end of February that a global pandemic was just around the corner. Having journeyed through the Bible over five and a half years, I’d wondered where that journey would take me next, but how could I have possibly imagined what was in store for me as an individual and for us collectively as the human race?

Those who know me well know that I am not good in a crisis. I don’t know if I was born that way or have developed certain coping mechanisms, but I tend to jump straight past fight and flight to freeze. I shut down. My brain turns to mush and my body goes into paralysis. So I would love to tell you that I have been the hero these past weeks, organising support groups and checking in on neighbours. Instead, I’ve been mostly motionless (on the outside anyway – my mind has been super active!).

I haven’t been a ‘good Christian’ these past few weeks and here are 20 reasons why:

  1. I have been very, very afraid
  2. I have had a glass of wine at lunch time some days
  3. I have not baked anyone a cake
  4. I have not read the Bible
  5. I have not quoted the Bible
  6. I have not told anyone I will pray for them
  7. I have not prayed
  8. I don’t have any answers for why God would allow this to happen
  9. I have often felt like swearing – and have done so on some occasions
  10. I have not attended an online service or prayer meeting
  11. I haven’t reacted well to many of the posts that other Christians have shared
  12. I woke up on Easter Sunday in the wrong mood entirely
  13. I have been watching TV at 4am
  14. I have struggled with overwhelming anxiety
  15. I have not written a Join Our Journey blog
  16. I got a puppy (not sure why this is here – but some people seem to think it’s irresponsible)
  17. I cannot watch the news
  18. I have not asked Alexa to play worship songs
  19. I have not claimed God’s victory
  20. I have not read a Christian book

If all of that qualifies me as a bad Christian, then so be it. I have not been able to navigate this storm any other way. This is who I am. And I am confident that God loves me just as I am. I am a child of God. I have nothing to be ashamed about.

Throughout these unsettling, unprecedented, turbulent times, I have found myself responding from a place of love and acceptance (not always in hugely practical ways, I’ll give you that, because exhaustion has drained my energy for action), but my heart has been filled with love towards myself, my family, my friends and neighbours, all people everywhere, the natural world, my dogs – and my new puppy! And God is love and God is in all living things, so without words (I’ve lost all my words), I have felt love and I have felt God.

As I was gardening earlier, my thoughts turned to Ecclesiastes 3: A Time For Everything. We never dreamt there would be a time like this – that’s why we keep using the word ‘unprecedented’. This pandemic has rocked the whole world. The world will never be the same again. We’re all responding in different ways. There isn’t a right way (apart from staying at home if that’s what is required of us) to face this crisis. We will surprise ourselves. We may not be as strong as we thought we were. We might be stronger.

But this is my take on A Time For Everything.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to celebrate new life and a time to face death,
a time to plant wildflower seeds and a time to uproot all those weeds,
a time to condemn those whose decisions have cost lives and a time to show gratitude for those who heal,
a time to tear down society as we knew it and a time to rebuild based on new values,
a time to cry at the daily statistics and a time to laugh together on video call,
a time to grieve all that we have lost and a time to dance in an online class,
a time to share and a time to shop responsibly for what we need,
a time to find ways to connect and a time to refrain from embracing/touching/getting too close,
a time to search for meaning and purpose and a time to let go of finding all the answers,
a time to keep all that is precious and a time to throw away all that we no longer need,
a time to break up, break down, break apart and a time to mend and repair,
a time for no words and a time for the right words,
a time to love and a time to distance ourselves from those who harm us physically and mentally,
a time for confrontation and a time for peace and reconciliation.

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