by Kindra Green Carson
I would love to tell you something pretty, simple, and tender. However, these times are pretty brutal, complicated, and hard. I will not patronize you. What I will continue to call out is: hope.
I love this writer’s thoughts on hope:
Mostly, there is this to remember:
“a few people can make a difference.”
What may be hitting hardest during this time of crisis and upheaval is just how uncontrollable everything in your world feels. Even down to toilet paper! In these spaces it is natural and even normal to fall back into old, and many times toxic, patterns of surviving or coping. This is normal!
It is ok to feel sad, let down, scared, angry, helpless, or confused.
Our prayer as chaplains, for you all, is that you are able to stay strong in the healthy new patterns you have learned. Patterns of hope. Patterns of care. Patterns that resist individualism and instead support the many.
In these times I find it essential to ask, not what I cannot control,
but what can I control?
As chaplains, we would call you to ask this question daily—as you furlough, or work, or stay home to self-quarantine:
How can I care for others?
There are literally thousands of ways to do this but here are some we recommend:
Some of these ways may cost money and some are free—the important thing is DO something. All of us—no matter what our situation is—have a capacity to hope in the face of this crisis and we live out that hope through doing.
Helplessness and fear will shut you down and often exposes the greatest ugliness of our humanity.
You can be scared and choose to help others. You can be angry and choose to donate to a food bank. You can be anxious and choose to reach out to friends. Feelings are not in control. You are. And in this time, which can feel like a lot of chaos, you can choose to bring hope and promise and a bit of humanity back into the day of those around you and your loved ones.
If you find this to be a struggle, and sometimes don’t we all, we are here to help. Please reach out to us and we would be happy to meet with you via ZOOM.