I am safe but sad. Is that okay?
About a month ago, I began rapidly erasing plans from my calendar.
The dentist, the chiropractor, the gym, the nights out with friends.
I stopped going into the office and began working from home. We stopped going to church and began watching a live stream.
And then slightly bigger things began falling off the schedule - the weekend at a cabin with my family, the traditional celebration of Easter, the premarital retreat.
I am safe. I am blessed. I am grateful. But I am sad.
Is that okay?
I tell myself I could have it worse. Working for a missions organization, I hear the stories of ‘worse’ in our regular prayer meetings with international partners. I could be quarantined in a tent in Moria refugee camp with 20,000 others. I could be without food in Peru or facing increased persecution in India.
Even here in the U.S., I have many reasons to be grateful. I am young and healthy, and my family is safe. I still have a job and am not in financial turmoil.
What right do I have to be sad, I ask myself.
I find solace in Psalm 30. Verse 5 says “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Verses 11 and 12 continue: “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”
The joy of the Lord is for all of us in all circumstances, no matter our degree of sadness or our ‘right’ to grief. I believe that it is okay to be down during this time, from the friend disappointed for her cancelled wedding to the gym member grieving the loss of her mom to coronavirus to the family in Lima with no food. The Lord is working in each of our lives.
As for me, I will rest in the joy of the Lord and know that better days are coming for each of us that trust in Him. I don’t discount my enormous blessing and privilege, so I will not let this momentary sadness turn into apathy towards others.