I sat on my couch in the late afternoon with tears streaming down my face. I had just had a long conversation with a friend. She had told me of something horrible which had happened to her family years ago and the consequences and repercussions of that event were still shaking her world today. My heart broke for her. There is so much evil in this world. People doing unspeakable things to each other. Sometimes it seems impossible to bear.
My thoughts turned to others who are suffering right now and the waterworks let loose.
I'm sure part of my mood was because I was on my 44th day at stay-at-home and honestly, I miss people terribly. But at that moment I was overwhelmed with what was going on around me. What others were going through was affecting me.
As of this moment there are 3,222,107 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world. It is in 186 countries. 228,757 people have died from it and many many more have suffered from it.
My tears streamed for the friend whose mother died from COVID-19. Yes she had been elderly and had Alzheimers, but it was the virus which took her. I cried for the guy I know whose 56 year old uncle spent over a month in the hospital battling the virus, a large part of that time on a ventilator fighting for his life. He has been released from the hospital but now has to have kidney dialysis four times a week. For the people who have gotten it and were sick as a dog and the stress for their loved ones in taking care of them. For the friends who have health issues and are worried if they get it, they might not survive it.
More than that. Three people I know are battling cancer right now in the midst of a pandemic. No one wants to end up in the hospital and add the worry of catching a virus on top of the already worry they have fighting cancer.
I have two friends who will soon be having their first babies. The pandemic is turning their expectant joy into mountains of worry.
A friend whose daughter has already rescheduled her wedding throwing everything up in turmoil. The new date may not be viable either. Another couple who rescheduled their wedding until the middle of summer causing others to reschedule their airlines and hotels. It may not go off either if the predictions are correct. The son of a third friend who doesn't know what to do about his June wedding.
I feel for the people who had medical procedures scheduled which have been put off for now. Health issues that have come up that aren't being addressed right now because there are bigger, more important things going on. Life has been put on hold and at what price?
A friend texted me yesterday her 23 year old relative had a stroke! Way too young. She is in desperate need of prayer and healing.
I know two nurses who are working on the COVID unit at their hospitals. My own daughter-in-law is a nurse. All of our health care workers, our first responders, our essential workers - all are paying a physical and emotional toll with this pandemic.
Many friends have loved ones in assisted living and nursing homes right now. They are overcome with worry for their health and miss them terribly. They can do phone calls and FaceTime and Zoom meetings, but nothing replaces personal contact. A hug. A patting of the hand. A kiss on the cheek. We are starving for one on one affection.
Those friends who are single and staying-at-home by themselves are terribly lonely. People were meant to do life in community, with each other.
My father-in-law died in late March. It wasn't unexpected as he had been sick for years. We couldn't gather to have a proper visitation, funeral and burial. Grieving alone was hard. My family isn't the only ones going through this. Perhaps it is because of my age, but I know so many friends who have lost their parents right now amidst this virus. Yet they all grieve at home - missing the hugs of their family and friends. Grief is meant to be done together. It isn't meant to do like this. It isn't healthy to do it like this.
Oh where to even begin. Millions out of work. People depleting their savings and unable to pay their mortgages, their car payments, and their bills. People unable to afford food for their families. Adult kids moving in with their parents. Uncertainty about their future.
Business owners who have poured their lives into their business and are now drowning in a sea of debt and facing the possibility they may lose it all. Or they already have.
Worry over education in this country. The children who will get behind. The parents trying to work from home and help their children with their schoolwork. The university degrees put on hold. The teachers scrambling to teach their students.
People are afraid. Wondering how will they recover. What will the future hold?
What a mess. What a hurting world. And I just had to have a good cry about it all.
Outside as the storm clouds began to roll in, I sat there on my couch with my head back and looking up at my ceiling and I let the tears flow for all of those I knew whose life is just too hard right now. I prayed for them. I know He heard my prayers. I know that somehow my prayers will change what happens to them. I know somehow it helps them.
One of the benefits of knowing Scripture is that it pops in your mind when needed. I thought of so many verses that brought me comfort as I sat there sniveling. But this made me stop crying and brought a smile to my face. Our hope - the day when there will be a new heaven and a new earth.
..., and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true."
Take comfort. These words are faithful and true.
Sit down and have a good cry if you need it. We've earned it.