I am usually under-prepared for July, which means officially slipping past the halfway mark through the year. This year is no different. (Isn’t it still 2020?) Time seems to be running through my fingers this summer. Sometime in May, a friend texted me: “This was the weekend the pandemic ended,” and each weekend seems to vie for that honor — each is more crowded, more busy, full of travel, louder, and faster.
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been longing to “get back to normal” and it has struck me recently how wildly off-target that sentiment is. In the Christian faith, resurrection is not a restoration or a resetting, but a moving forward. Resurrection, as Joseph Ratzinger wrote, is a leap forward into a new way of being. It is not the return to an old way of life, but an opening up into a new kind of life, a new chapter of the story.
I’m trying to remember, as we resurrect from the death and fear that has held us captive—and that continue to plague the globe in the forms of variants, new lockdowns, and uncertainty—what new ways of being I learned in the pandemic that I need to hold onto. What were the gifts of a time of scarcity and silence? Were there routines, habits, communities, relationships that I discovered once “normal” was stripped away? How can I hold onto them as “normal” returns? What did we notice from our locked down houses that we find ourselves ignoring once again: an ocean crying for mercy, a neighbor suffering, those working long hours to make the comfortable more comforted?
We are called, as always, to conversion, to rend our hearts—to make space for the new thing God is doing.