I have alluded to this a little in previous posts on Facebook, but this quarantine for us feels like sitting on the sidelines of the big game. I know that may seem silly, but if you know Joel and I at all, you know likely that we are not people who like to be on the sidelines. We want to be helping, we want to be in the thick of things, serving, getting our hands dirty, working together with our partners. This is what we feel we are called to, so NOT being able to be on the front lines is difficult. To explain, because of us living Quito and not in Cayambe, it is pretty much impossible for us to travel up to Cayambe during this time of quarantine.
I personally have been carrying guilt with me that I am not on the frontlines. In my jobs in the past, no matter what, I worked. State of emergency, I was at work, snowstorms, I was at work, risk to myself, I was there. I feel like that is what I was trained for, I was born to help people, this is my call. So, to NOT be doing any of those things that I know I CAN do, I feel guilty that others are out there, putting themselves in harms way, being a first, second and third responder. Taking care of their neighbor. I feel guilty. Guilty that I am at home and safe, that my family is safe, guilty that I am not out there, working arm and arm with my fellow providers and caregivers. It is hard when every bone in my body says go, serve, help, be the hands and feet.
I watch and see what my partners in ministry are doing and I just have no words. Pride and feeling proud seems so minimal, so lacking in saying and describing my response to what they are doing. They are doing what I cannot do, what I am not allowed to do right now. They are serving, they are literally being the hands and feet of Jesus. It seems so insufficient. It does not do justice and speak justice to what the team is doing in Cayambe to simply say I am proud. But, I am. I am proud to be associated and friends with this amazing group of people. They are an example in my book of truly living out what the Bible talks about time after time.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.”
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Matthew 25:44 – 45
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'”
“‘What should we do then?’ the crowd asked. John answered, ‘Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.'”
So, if you are looking for instruction on what to do in a time of crisis, in a time where others are suffering or maybe you yourself are suffering, here is a list of instruction to be the Church. Here is a list of things we can do to serve our neighbors, to love well, to show others hospitality, to care. Imagine if we all did that? What a great time to start.
SO, although I still carry guilt and this need in my soul to GO, right now, I am where I am supposed to be. I am at home with my kids. We are literally teaching them and although it is challenging and hard, it is also really great to see them learning, not only things they are getting from school, but solid, foundational things that unless we were in this space, we would not be able to teach them. Around Easter, I heard a term called Domestic Church. The way I interpreted it was that sometimes we as parents assume that the church we attend or the school we attend will be teaching foundational lessons our kids need. The majority of time they do and that is great but imagine how much more our kids would glean from day to day experiences that we as parents teach them. Although challenging, we have that opportunity right now. We have seen it not only in them, but in ourselves that God has used that time. There have been times when stress has overcome us all and we have had “family meetings” where we ask each other for forgiveness. We have been learning about the Fruits of the Spirit and can relate them to our daily lives. It is good accountability to us as parents too! We have seen how taking seriously the journey of Jesus to the Cross has not only had a profound impact on our lives, but on our kids lives and they wouldn’t have gotten such an intimate look this year if we were not at home.
So, is there stress? Is it difficult? Do we need to grieve things and ask for forgiveness from each other? YES! Would we rather be back to “normal life” as we knew it? Maybe, there is a lot to be said for the rhythms of daily normal life. But I also want to take to heart some of what we have already have learned through this time. Family is so important. This time with our kids is so important. We want our kids to see what the Church is supposed to be, starting with us. Do we fail? YES, every day. But we want our kids to see that failing is part of life, getting up is important, asking for forgiveness is important. Encouraging one another is important, encouraging others, loving and serving others, loving our neighbor, it’s important, its vital.
We continue to live in this in between place. We live between hope and frustration, hope and stress, hope and loss, hope and new normalcy, evaluating what that looks like.
May the same God who lived in that same space between hope and grief or frustration or stress or loss, meet you today wherever you are. May you feel all of those things knowing He is with you. May you name and live in those hard spaces, but knowing that there is HOPE, greater than the suffering. May you be inspired, as we are, by our partners in ministry who unselfishly give and give and give of themselves to others. May that lead you to inspire and serve as well.
Grace and peace to you all!