I bet your head will bob up and down as you read these two rhetorical questions:
- Haven’t the past couple weeks been peculiar?
- Isn’t it mind-boggling how quickly ‘normal’ is turned upside down?
When I worked for the government, crisis management was an important part of my job. I was privileged to receive high-quality training in the field of critical incident stress management.
My professional training has been helpful recently in my role in care ministries at Lake City Church. I’ve spoken to well over one hundred people during this time, and I’ve been blessed over and over by some of their stories.
A tenet of crisis work is RESILIENCE. Studies have shown most people bounce back after even the most horrific event. During my critical incident work, I was impressed by the resilience I observed and became convinced God built resilience into the human spirit.
One characteristic promoting resilience is faith. These past couple weeks, most people I’ve spoken with possess a Christian faith. More than once, I’ve hung up the telephone feeling awed by the conversation.
Recent interactions demonstrating resilience began earlier in the month in online exchanges with a Listening on the Journey… reader. Charlotte is the friend of one of my friends. Over the years, at my friend’s request, I’ve prayed for Charlotte when her fight against cancer was especially difficult. I’ve discovered a woman who possesses deep faith, a whole lot of moxie, and despite difficult circumstances remains cheerfully optimistic.
It came as no surprise to learn Charlotte is also a woman of prayer. Her note encouraged me. Charlotte wrote, “I love the blog. Some days I read it and pray for everyone ‘on my list.’ Other times it seems like you have written it just for me.”
Charlotte illustrates characteristics of resilience such as hopefulness, prayer, other-centeredness, and commitment to personal growth.
A recent prayer request crossed my desk that touched me deeply. I followed up with a phone call, and Sylvia told me about her beloved mom who is in the final stages of life, quarantined in a nursing home several states away. Her mother, a hospice nurse for several years, cared for many dying AID’s patients, saying, “They need help, and I will not be afraid.” During the time she was doing hospice work, Sylvia remembers her mama singing “This Little Light of Mine” to her and her sister at bedtime.
Sylvia is sad her mother will undoubtedly die without loving family by her side even though she knows God will be with her mom as she transitions into her heavenly home.
Tears welled up in my eyes as this daughter told me about a video call she had with her mother a few days ago. The nurse at the care facility told Sylvia her mother had been sleeping a lot and hadn’t been eating nor talking much the past few days. But Sylvia’s mama perked up and smiled when she heard her daughter sing “This Little Light of Mine.”
Sylvia’s story reminded me family connection and meaningful work are two additional characteristics of resilience.
Thankfulness is another important attribute leading to resilience. When I chose to make Lent 2020 a season of thanksgiving, I had no idea where this theme was going to take me! My email communication with Charlotte and phone conversation with Sylvia surely became part of my Lenten Thanksgiving journal.
How are you dealing with the Covid-19 crisis? I hope you’re doing well and despite the inconvenience, you’re discovering the power of faith, hope, prayer, and service to others. I trust you’ll be able to carve out times for personal growth, connecting with family and engaging in meaningful at-home work activities.
Above all, I pray each of us will remember to express thankfulness!
God Who Sees,
Thank you for the blessings you’ve shown during this time of international crisis.
Please protect, encourage, strengthen and empower
Each person reading this post and all who are working so hard and selflessly to give care, comfort and to stem this virus.
We ask for your grace and mercy to blanket the earth.
- Names in italics are pseudonyms ↑