“Quarantine” commonly defined as “a state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that have been exposed to an infectious or contagious disease are placed” is our new normal this Spring 2020. As a friend put it, “I wasn’t expecting to give up this much for Lent.” None of us were.

Withdrawal from routines and severing our public selves feels like a mixture of drastic, unfair, and extreme. As we adjust and take on a new way of life, we rollercoaster through many emotions and ultimately, we are asked to surrender. 

CoVid-19’s life and death consequences upend fear, panic, desperation, anguish and swift loss. Many of our spirits are crushed and feeling broken. There is little time to say good-bye or comfort one another. Survival kicks in. This is foreign ground–no winning, no gaining or being victorious here.We are all leveled by the seriousness of the matter.

Looking around, people rise as heroes donating, giving and rescuing one another. As we “shelter in place,” we face an opportunity to reflect and assess where we stand in our lives. Living in the gap of what was and what is now.  Nothing will be the same again. That much is for sure. Silence lingers and invites us to reconcile the past. Will we go there? Will we dare?

I often reflect about what is eventually coming–when this introspective season ends. When the noise dulls down, the pollution clears, the weather begins to warm, who will I be? Will I purify my pain and let go of what I know or what I expect to be? God’s will is my only comfort now. There is no timeline in a pandemic.

Will you be the same when the lights come back on in our public lives? Will you remember these dark days of silence, solitude and boredom with the mix of laughter, renewal and renovation? Will you spiritually quarantine so that you transform into something bigger than you were before?

That is my prayer for myself and the world. That we receive this shut down to draw in and hold onto our faith and soul’s purpose. That we recognize that we are not defined by our jobs, our bank accounts or even our past. We are defined by our humanity to one another–that is all.

So I invite your spiritually quarantine. Protect your heart and heal yourself. Hang back and hold onto what matters most. Savor the precious souls with whom you share your life and remember mortality has our number. It’s just a matter of God’s timeline.

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