Our New Life
You may have had this experience. After moving into a new house, one morning I awoke early, hopped out of bed, and walked straight into the wall of my bedroom.
In the transition between deep slumber and fully waking up, I was on autopilot, still imaging where I had lived previously. I was expecting to be in my old bedroom, but that’s not where I found myself. All my furniture had been moved around. The doorway to the bathroom was not in its usual place, and that caused some consternation. It was confusing, disorienting, and frightening.
My brain was imprinted so strongly with my old reality, I was quite thankful when the fog finally lifted as my new reality emerged.
Over the past several weeks our reality of life has undergone a massive shift. It’s definitely been confusing, disorienting, and frightening. And our experience of it has been communal, and unique for each of us.
We didn’t ask for this. It’s been hard and we’re nowhere near being through with it. We’re still in the early stages of waking up, not knowing how to navigate things and waiting for the fog to lift.
It’s safe to say that if we had the choice, we’d all be very happy to return to our previous reality, where at least we knew where the furniture of our lives was situated. But life has handed us a new reality. And life did not ask our permission about it. It just happened.
In the midst of this new life reality, a guy like me - a minister - is charged with the task of providing a word of hope and reassurance; perhaps even to say that that things will return to the way they were before.
But that would be a lie, and I can’t lie to you. However, I can make you a promise.
It’s the same promise the followers of Jesus came to understand after his death and resurrection: that real life can be and will be hard and confusing and complicated and disorienting and frightening.
Life’s always been that way and it always will be.
But the much larger reality is that waking up to a new life is to embrace the fact that love is more powerful and enduring than anything life throws our way. That’s what Jesus embodied, and what he consistently said to his followers and to any of us willing to listen.
That’s not some magical mystical fairy-tale love, but a love that looks like the hard and persistent work of caring for each other and for every single person on this planet with compassion and courage.
That love looks like never giving up even when the odds are stacked very high. It looks like hope in the face of hopelessness. It’s everyday simple acts of human kindness and bravery. We’ve seen that love expressed so many times these past many weeks, and we will see and participate in more.
Our new life is a reawakened awareness and appreciation of how truly interconnected and interdependent we are, and resilient we are, and good we are, and loving we are.
That’s a new life we can live in today, look forward to tomorrow, and even celebrate on every uncertain, frightening, and disorienting day to come.