Jennifer Z. Major
Before and after.
In case you've been on a six month long meditative retreat somewhere without Wifi, or you've been locked in a cave, or you've been at sea pretending you're Robin Lee Graham, you may have noticed that the world has been upended and dumped out.
"Pandemic" is an old word that is once again on everyone's lips.
Gazillions of pundits, politicians and preachers have weighed in, and the after-effects of the global problem have left us all reeling.
We all want to return to the way life was before, and nobody wants to think about the way life will be after.
Also, when is after?
That's another heavy-duty question. Some say a few months, some say a few years.
But honestly, can anyone say that life will return to normal, ever?
In my immediate social circle alone, there are professions and industries that have been hit with devastating blows. Medical tests and treatments are getting postponed. Uncertainty is the special of the day. Religious zealots are hammering the nail of fear into the weary. Scammers are targeting the elderly. Politicians are flailing their arms like an electrocuted Kermit the Frog.
Life is hard for everyone, everywhere.
For some, the world has stayed the same.
For others, their world has plunged from contented twilight, into eerie darkness.
Yes, as a person of faith, I pray. I pray a lot.
This past two week, I have PRAYED and prayed, and then I had to trust.
Wait, do you think this post was just on the COVID-19 pandemic?
Actual photo of hospital's fashionable Spring collection.
I'll tell you a little story...
Two weeks ago, I noticed an anomaly and called my doctor's office. They fit me in the following Monday.
Monday arrived, and I went to my appointment. My doctor did an exam, and ordered an "urgent" mammogram, and put me on antibiotics.
From the time of that appointment, until Monday evening, the pain increased. By 7:30pm, I thought maybe a visit to the ER would be in order. But I stayed home, because I'd have been there all night.
On Tuesday, I had a hair appointment, and yet I still was in pain. With the pain came swelling, and localized heat, and the heat is what got me even more worried.
Heat and redness are signs of infection.
I got to the salon, and BLESS her, my stylist, "C" is also a dear friend, was fully supportive of me calling my doctor smack in the middle of her work time.
So I made the call, and they wanted me in there right away. So, C shooed me out the door and I drove the 20 minutes to the office, waited exactly 3 minutes, and he did another exam, then gave me a prescription for painkillers.
Then I drove back across town and returned to get my hair cut and coloured by C, my sainted friend.
Once I had fabulous hair, I went home, and basically crawled into bed.
I stayed in touch with my doctor (read: nagged) and then on Friday, I went in for my mammogram.
But not as bad as I thought it would. Also, I'm a redhead with a pain threshold rating of zero.
After the mammogram, they did an ultrasound, during which I was told that I do NOT have breast cancer.
I texted my husband, who had to wait in the car because the hospital is on pandemic protocol, and told him the good news.
In the span of a week, I went from before, to a LONG week of during, and finally, to a very good after. Yes, we're elated.
And YES, I am fully aware that the world is spinning at light speed in a hellish during. After seems a thousand years away.
But please, take what you knew of kindness and goodness, and take the wisdom God gave you, and be good throughout this during.
If you're determined to preach, do so with loving actions, not hellfire and brimstone'd words. That helps absolutely no one and sends people running from God, never to return.
Know this, the wounded will not just pass judgement on what you say, they will heap judgement on you in the after by what you do.