“Usually if you pray from the heart, you get an answer—the phone rings or the mail comes, and light gets in through the cracks, so you can see the next right thing to do. That’s all you need.” ―
Most people right now report having extra time on their hands. Having to get reorganized due to the quarantine, working from home, kids no longer in school, grocery trips to a minimum, no more out of the house entertainment or eating out…
I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know first hand. This is just to set the stage for today’s suggestion.
In addition to your expanding expertise in being shut up and socially isolated, some sort of suffering has probably marched through your life in some degree:
- People are sick and some are dying
- There are growing fears as the virus spreads across our country
- Businesses have shut down and people are out of work
- Small businesses are facing their own demise
- Sometimes, necessary supplies are not available
- Significant events are cancelled and postponed (prom, graduation, weddings)
- Education in all forms is being remodeled and experienced in dramatically different ways – lots of stress on everyone
- Families at home are having to strengthen their existing relationships and give so much more space to each other (how did people in log cabins do this?)
Be reminded that the normal problems of life continue even when there is a plague. Cancer, aging, heart disease, and addictions still plague us every day. There are relationship crises that were on fire before the virus came knocking. People problems don’t go away like magic just because a global catastrophe arrives. Sometimes they get even worse.
“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” — Frederick Buechner
My point, you are probably wading through problems of all sorts these days. You surely know of others who are. Maybe there’s someone who’s in deeper than you.
My two-year-old grandson just dumped out baby powder and tracked it from one end of his house to the other. His mom filmed the confrontation, he admitted and backtracked the whole incident to her. He seemed to reflect in his expression, “yes, I made a mess, let’s just clean it up, what’s the problem?”
Some of the problems we all face do get better when we face them together. Others are not going to go away, at least not quickly enough. There are bitter and dark days ahead.
When you think of someone else who is suffering right now, to whatever degree, I’m suggesting you send a note or card in the mail.
- The postal service is still operating
- You can buy stamps at the grocery store (Amazon will even deliver)
- There are packs of cards at the grocery, Target or Wal-Mart
Sure, it’s so much more efficient to just send an email or text. Even a phone call is easier (and more personal!). Yes, yes, I agree. Please be efficient rather than not at all. But, over the years I have noticed in people’s offices and homes, cards received in the mail. They were saved and kept out – used for continued encouragement and inspiration. A card in the mail becomes an artifact that can give your gift day after day. I know that when we were fighting cancer at my house, we filled a whole wall with cards and notes. It hung there for years, building up our courage each day. It was like real people standing there holding us up.
Yes, it’s a little extra effort (what else are doing right now?)
Yes, you will have to look up a mailing address (updating your contacts instead of watching TV?)
Yes, there are multiple steps involved (actual steps, off the couch, out the door)
When we do things like sending cards in our digital age we are strengthening the ties that bind us together. This is certainly a time in history when we need that kind of strength. Now, start making your list of people in your life that need to hear from you in one way or another. Don’t put it off. Do it today. Get some stamps and send out a card (you’re allowed to buy cards at the store even when you don’t have someone to send them to!). Do something about that tug at year soul.
“I’ve always felt there is something sacred in a piece of paper that travels the earth from hand to hand, head to head, heart to heart.” ―