This has been a year of loss.
It has been nearly a year since the world as we know it was flipped upside down. It’s strange to think of what life was like only a little over 365 days ago. I had just spent Christmas in Italy with my husband, carefree, and with a potential virus being one of the last things on our minds.
But as the next few months passed, this potential virus grew into a reality.
At the time our jobs allowed us both to stay home, giving us the opportunity to properly social distance in the hopes of sparing ourselves and others of contracting the unknown sickness.
During that time of physical isolation, I began to sense an emotional one as well. It began slowly but made itself extremely evident halfway through the year of 2020 when a close family member contracted Covid-19. I am grateful to be able to say that they have made a full recovery, but this was only after spending nearly a week in the last available bed at the local hospital. That was a very emotional and fragile time in my family’s life. The unknown was bleak and scary. But the emotional isolation was glaring.
I saw so many compassionate-less social media posts by close friends during this time.
“I refuse to wear a mask with a virus that has a nearly perfect recovery rate.”
“If we give into this tyranny now, what will they demand of us next?”
None of these were directed at anyone in particular. But at a time when my family was facing uncertain times and possible devastation, these are the messages being posted by not only close friends, but fellow church members.
These beliefs have been absolutely shattering to myself as a Christian. People who I once thought so highly of were now propagating such an individualistic and American-ized worldview. These same people are ones who will fight for the rights of the unborn but are now refusing to wear a face covering in the name of their own personal freedoms. The dichotomy of this has been astounding to me. Shouldn’t we as Christians seek to be truly pro-life, not just pro-birth? It is hard for me to fathom not wearing a face covering for the sake of my fellow man. Yes, there are the arguments that they don’t really prevent anything. But even if, years down the road, we find out that the masks did absolutely nothing, wouldn’t we want to say that we tried to do everything we knew possible at the time? Why wouldn’t we want to do all that we can in order to help our neighbors lead healthy lives?
When you couple this pandemic with the social unrest and political events of the year, many people have shown their true beliefs. Christianity has been mixed in with American pride and the waters only continue to be muddied. I have felt physically isolated this year but, even more so, emotionally and spiritually isolated. It’s hard to find love for those who call this sickness fake, this same sickness that nearly took a family member of my own and has taken countless family members of others. And it is hard to find love for those who use Christianity in order to “own” whatever agenda they are fighting against.
2020 was a year that changed many things. But I hope that I will not forget the lesson of how desperately compassion is needed. I fear that many Christians don’t see how often times their crusade for truth and rights is void of any love or empathy. May we always remember that it can’t be one or the other. We need both sides. Truth and compassion.