Troubling roads ahead don’t mean the heart has to be troubled.
Even though nobody knows.
Even though nobody knows what next week looks like. Or next month. Even though one-third of humanity is under lockdown.
And nobody knows who will get sick — or who will end up in ICU struggling to breathe. And nobody need bandy around feel-good cliches right now that aren’t gut honest.
In the middle of a boggling global pandemic, I’m holed up on Day 12 of self-quarantining in my mama’s empty house, after 14 long days of international ministry over 15,000 kilometres away from home on the exact other side of world.
Which makes it the 26th surreal Day of being away from my people — when something catches the corner of my eye as I’m bent over books near the window, and I glance up to see — a blur of giggling kids.
6 giggling kids who look like they just swallowed the proverbial canary and their grinning mama, long time family friends of ours. Standing out on the street with a ukulele.
When I open the front door of little Casa de Quarantine, there’s strumming worship and rising praise and no dry eye this side of the door. And I want to hug every single one of them because that’s the paradox of times like these:
The more distant we feel from each other — the more we long to connect.
The kids keep belting it out, beaming, and I can read a whole world of encouragement in their mama’s eyes as her glinting ones don’t leave mine, nodding and smiling and singing, and there, at my feet, are words scrawled on the step:
WE LOVE YOU.
With arrow pointing — to a pot of delicate daffodils blooming beside a hand-coloured card with the message: “I am with you” (Isa. 41:10)
And I brim, nod.
The single most important thing we can do right now — is show up for each other somehow.
Because when we show up right now for each other — it’s God who shows up.
Showing up is about bearing witness to people the midst of these troubling days — so people witness Jesus in us, and witness Jesus standing with them.
The entire planet is facing what is arguably the test of the century.
Who will go ahead and stand up all the agendas that divide communities and instead decide to just show up for community?
Who has the heart to step up for our grandmas and protect our grandfathers, who will make the time to reach out to the single mom who’s a nurse trying to juggle shifts and her kiddos, who will make the time to connect and pray for the single student quarantining alone, who will give five bucks toward the sick family struggling to make rent?
Now isn’t the time to wait, the time to sit on the sidelines, or the time to be a spectator.
All hands on deck means we all have to figure out a way to reach out our hands.
Everyone is facing this pandemic — and it will require every single one of us to show up to get us to the other side of this pandemic.
All of humanity is in a war against a virus — so if you’re human, you have to show up to your station to help your fellow human beings battle through this.
There may not be enough resources to sufficiently test for the virus — but never doubt — we are all being tested.
The ultimate test is: Who will show up now?
This virus has been the great equalizer — we all equally need each other and God. We aren’t in control — but we are in Christ, and we are in each other’s corners.
And none of us are independent — we are all interdependent on each other.
Whether you live in LA or NYC or Vancouver or Toronto or Sydney or London or Milan or Beijing or anywhere in between — every human on the planet is seeing the world through the lens of the pandemic, and everywhere around the planet, there are people showing up with solidarity, risking their lives for the common good of humanity: emergency room nurses and doctors, truck drivers and grocery staff, postal delivery workers and power personnel and countless others who aren’t taking a seat.
Normal times call for empathy — but times like these call for more. They call for solidarity.
Solidarity with the dad who lost his job last week, the mom who doesn’t know how they are going to make rent, the waitress who doesn’t know where groceries are coming from now, and essential service workers and healthcare providers risking their very lives.
Showing up turns the world — into your world. And solidarity turns people into your people. Because?
It turns out we all belong to each other.
No matter how long the road is between us — we all belong to each other.
In troubling times, our hearts don’t have to be troubled, because we know the One who has overcome and He calls us to come be the people these times and this crisis and these times need:
These times need people who believe there is no them, but only us.
These times need people who believe life not all about some freedom to turn inward, but people who bravely turn outward and toward each other — so we can all forge forward.
These times need people who will be the uncommon heroes who show up now in whatever they can, so we can all come out of this stronger.
And showing up now is about stepping up, not stepping back, when hard things go down.
Showing up now does mean giving up something — to gain what we’re all really reaching for: connection and meaning.
Showing up now believes that we always show up for family — and, no matter who we are or where we live, we are all one family.
Even though nobody knows how the next few months might go down — we all know someone we could show up for now.
And when we show up for each other — Jesus gets to show off.
Maybe when things shut down — is when the brave still find ways to show up — and our collective hearts open to a more hopeful, meaningful, powerful way of living.
Troubling roads lie ahead of us.
And now is when we all have to determine exactly what lies within us.
No matter what is shutting down, nothing can shut Hope Down
In a crisis like this, we get to:
Vulnerably show up to share needs
If you’d love to SHOWUPNOW to help & pray?
Here’s a safe, needed place for all of us through this pandemic: