I wondered for awhile and realized I didn't have a good answer. Finally I replied, “I’m not sure things will ever be the same—but I do think that some things might be even better than before.” We talked awhile longer, thinking through possibilities of what those “better things” might be.
Later that night the question came back to my mind with some of the possibilities that we had come up with. I began thinking about what our new normal might look like. I was reminded of my Opa (Dutch for Grandpa), who was in the underground in Epe, Holland during WWII. I wondered if he had that same question pop into his mind, time and time again as he hid in different spots waiting for the ‘new arrivals’ to show up so that he could move them to the safe spot. I wondered if he thought about his family, back in their house—what their ‘new normal’ looked like without him there. I wondered if he asked God that same question: “When will things return to normal?”
I’m sure that question popped into my Opa’s mind numerous times during WWII as he moved through the darkness, hiding from those who were looking to arrest him. I’m sure he got tired of having to hide, having to lie at times, always watching his back—unsure of who was a safe person and who might be the one to turn him in.
While washing my hands for the umpteenth time during the day, I realized that I kept wondering who I might come into contact with, who might have the virus, how my health might be changed in short order. I decided that I did not what to live like that. Sure, I want to be wise and take all necessary precautions, but to live in fear that haunts my every move … I do not think that is the best way I can spend my time in this present reality.
My Opa probably had these same kinds of questions, but it didn’t stop him from doing what he sensed God asking him to do. Why? Because he felt that God valued human life, whether Christian, Jewish, white, black, or whatever. A life was a life to God, so he was going to do what it took to preserve those whose lives were meaningless to a regime!
Lives today are no less important to God! I think that what we do in this present reality says a lot about what we believe God thinks about life. Are we going to be all bound up in the crisis—fearful and unwilling to move, or are we going to be willing to reach out to those who may need us in one way or another? I’m choosing to do the latter. My desire is to look for those who may need a helping hand. Who is it in my sphere of influence that needs a meal, groceries picked up, or a pack of toilet paper, a prayer? What are the possibilities for me to reach out to those who need?
My hope for coming out of this chaos is that we find a new normal! That we learn, during this time, to look up more often, see the people around us, slow down and listen. Why? Because these are all people God loves and Jesus died for. These lives are worth fighting for, whether a physical or a viral war. What we are made of, whose we are will be very evident. Even if we are not the ones who are able to go out and do, we can encourage those who can and we can also become prayer warriors through this time!
May God’s peace be with you as you discover your possibilities!