As you know, last week I did not write a reflection, because I was in Wyoming to scatter my father’s ashes. It was a very meaningful trip for me and my next younger sister. Along the way there was plenty of time to think.
One thing that came to my mind was how we’re all coping as best we can with what life has given us these days. But there’s no question that the Covid virus is very much impacting how we live, work, and connect. It’s everywhere, including places like Wyoming where there are very few people per square mile.
So no matter where we live, or what our circumstances are, we all share this burden of unease. Wondering when, where, and if someone we know, or we ourselves will become sick. This has an impact on us. We lose the feeling of safety we always took for granted. It’s a traumatic experience. And to this we add the many other ways we may feel uneasy these days. The effect of all this is the stress disorder that we commonly associate with people who have been in combat, or lived through abuse.
I recently read that when we experience trauma, even if we don’t feel it in our bodies, it affects our thinking. Our brains turn to more basic functions like assessing the need to fight or flee. And higher order thinking goes out the window.
So. It’s harder to sit quietly and consider something deeply. People tend to be more reactive. Perhaps you’ve noticed it in your relationships. If you feel this way, just know that you’re not alone. Creating some quiet space can help. Naming the fears within can help too.
And here’s one more possibility: The Rev. Deb Butler (who has led our worship on Lopez and Orcas) – is working with other religious leaders in a national interfaith group called Reimagine to help people deal with anxiety, discouragement, and grief – all stress factors high among us these days. They are dong an online Candlelight Vigil next Monday October 12th at 6:00 p.m.
This brief vigil is for people of all faiths and no faith. It will be spiritual in nature but not specific to any one tradition. If you feel like this would be meaningful/helpful for you, you can register at: https://letsreimagine.org/58851/mourning-into-unity-online-candlelight-vigil to receive the Zoom link.
Faithfully in Christ,
The Rev. Beth Purdum Eden is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has served in more than 6 parishes in the Western United States for 30 years.