I’ve got a dry cough, and it’s tough not to get freaked out by that. While so far the cough is my only symptom, with so many sudden changes to my world and society at large I think I am the reasonable degree of freaked out. Loved ones tell me I am probably just fine, and I know I probably am. But maybe I am not. I don’t like that feeling. Every ache or pain or twinge, in my mind, is the killer virus. Any change to blood pressure is alarming. I check my temperature over and over. I don’t like this at all.
It reminds me of the feeling I had when my wife Jan was first diagnosed with lung cancer. The cancer metastasized and went all over, and Jan was given just a few weeks to live. That prognosis turned out to be way off, and she survived many years. But what happened was every ache became, in our minds, a cancer re-occurrence. She’d get a stomachache—we just knew the cancer had spread. A toe cramped up; that became toe cancer. We couldn’t escape the feeling that no matter what we did, cancer was everywhere.
At least with Jan’s cancer I wasn’t afraid I’d catch it. This is new. I am afraid I will catch it or give it, or more likely both with this virus. It is traumatizing, and I have no doubt will have lasting impact on me, my family and the entire world.
But, as I learned with Jan’s cancer, lasting impact isn’t automatically as horrible as my brain makes it. While I have no clue where we go from here as a family, community, nation or world, and would never want to minimize the impact the virus has already had, I know with no reservation that in the end, love wins.
The steps we are being directed to follow are straightforward. Sanitation. Social Distancing. Stay home if sick. Stuff like that. I can and am doing that. So is my entire family. It’s my brain that is having a tough time knowing what to do. I often feel like I am short circuiting.
I do have a routine for when things get confusing. I slow down. Even my speech—slow and low. I need to remember that. I like to read scripture. It gives me comfort. So, I know a lot of it, and I find solace for my brain in scriptures like this:
“Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are loveable, whatever things are well-spoken of, whatever things are virtuous, and whatever things are praiseworthy, continue considering these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
My mind goes right to “whatever things are of serious concern.” This virus is certainly that. But the list of things to consider is much broader than that. When I consider the rest of the list, the thought of hunkering down with people I love is a gift and a treasure I know that not everyone has, and one I am committed to not taking for granted.
Love to you all! Be Safe.