A few weeks ago our local gym opened. I found myself itching to get back to “normal.” As we all know by now, normal certainly looks different these days. Every other machine roped off, “x” to mark where to stand in a group exercise class. No lotion or shampoo in the showers because it’s STRONGLY encouraged to NOT frequent them. All workers and personal training sessions done with masks.
New normal can be hard. And in this new space of COVID, no one seems to know how to act. All the social norms we were taught as children have flown out the door.
DON’T shake a stranger’s hand when you are being introduced. Because COVID.
DON’T offer to take the grocery cart back to the store. Because COVID.
Wear a mask if you’re not social distancing. COVID
Don’t wear a mask. COVID.
Last Sunday Matt and I went for our Sunday walk. We were outside and on a very wide sidewalk. As a runner approached, she came near us, physically turned around, said an expletive and then proceeded to rant to her running partner about how we did not get out of the way. I found myself so confused and then angry.
I realized a few things in that moment.
#1. We all want the other person to understand why we do something.
#2. We think our way is best.
#3. There is no handbook for COVID.
I love what Michael Todd from Transformation Church shares in his sermon series Crazy Faith. In Episode one he quotes from Paul, ““I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you.”
In this current world pandemic, there is a lot that is allowed but not necessarily good for all. I’ve found myself having to dig down deep and consider what it truly means to LOVE well and SHOW Jesus to others. While I might think mask wearing is not important, others do. While I might think mask wearing is really important, others do not.
However, I cannot allow my personal feelings to be an obstacle for others seeing Jesus and His love in me. I don’t know how I should have handled that sidewalk situation last Sunday. Perhaps I should have stepped aside in the tall wet grass. I had thought that’s what the runner was going to do. I thought my way was best. They thought their way was best. We were at an impasse.
I will mess up a lot. We all will. Just as I desire others to give me grace when they see my actions, I need to extend the same to others. There was a meme going around a few weeks ago about being kind. It struck a cord with me because we are all in the same boat. We don’t know the new rules. We don’t know the new normal.
I’m a work in progress with this. Some days I do a great job. Other days, I’m a ranting mess. BUT what I do know is that I truly want others to see Jesus and his redemptive healing work in me. That is grace.