Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Pastors – Pastor Tia of Christ the King, April 15, 2020

Which day is today? No, don’t look at the calendar. Would you have known it?

Well, I get mixed up these days. What did we have for breakfast? Oatmeal? Ok, that means it has to be a weekday. Or a Sunday. We never have time for a fancy breakfast on Sundays. Did the kids have Zoom meetings yesterday? Yes? Hm, so it’s not Monday.

Eventually, I will check my calendar. It will tell me which Zoom meetings I have to attend today (Luther reading group at 1 pm), who I want to call from the congregation and what else is on my to-do-list.

Every day feels like a Thursday to me. Like, the week has been going for too long already and I am just waiting for the weekend to start. But it somehow never does. No dinner-parties, no drinks out with friends, no trip to a museum or to downtown San Francisco on a Saturday. No date-night-out, no playdates for the kids, no quiet time for anyone, basically.

It seems so unfair. Some of us would give anything right now to be with people. Others would give anything to be alone for just 30 minutes in a household full of people. But there is no exchange possible at all. “We are all in this together”, people keep saying. Yes, and we are all in this alone. Every one of us has to find ways to survive this pandemic and to stay sane and to maintain their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. When the phone-calls ends or the Email is read, we still find ourselves in our homes, physically distanced, connected through our hearts and souls.

Every day, some friends send me memes with encouraging words of wisdom. Like: Make the best out of this day. Or: Develop a night-time-routine (going to bed after midnight is a routine, isn’t it?), exercise regularly (like running back and forth between my bedroom/ office and the living-room/ kids’ favorite playground?), eat healthy (do the Goldfish count?), meditate, eliminate clutter (take out the garbage…), develop a growth mindset. Or: The measure of wisdom is how calm you are when facing any given situation. And so on. If you want to make money right now, invent inspiring quotes and sell them. Seriously.

Honestly, it makes me slightly aggressive to read all of these well-intentioned slogans. They make it sound as if it’s your own fault if you can’t handle this situation well. Because you just didn’t adapt to the right mindset. (Sorry, if you love them. That’s totally fine. This might be my personal thing.) Right now, I don’t want to be eased down. Right now, I feel like I have every reason to be upset and to lament the lifestyle I have lost. I don’t want to be all smiley when people ask me, how I am doing. I don’t want to say “fine” or “hanging in there”. Yes, I am fine. But I am not ok. Yes, I am hanging in there, but it’s more a “being on the ropes”.

So, which day is today? The answer is actually the same for every day: “This is the day the Lord has made.” (Psalm 118,24) No matter, how you are feeling. This day was made by God. It continues: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” For now, I stick to the first part of the sentence. The ladder will come again. Yet, at this point, it has to be enough for me to know: “This is the day the Lord has made.” Even when every day feels like Thursday.

(Ok, I really like the weather today. And my kids are playing just lovely. And my husband cooks a delicious lunch. And I have the best job on earth. Maybe, I do rejoice a little bit. But just a little, for now, God. Don’t think that I will ever accept this kind of life as normal. Do you hear me? Make the days again, when we can all be jammed at Bart and at bars and hug each other!)

Have a blessed Lord-made day, Pr Tia!

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