Then Job replied to the Lord, "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.' "
~ Job 42:1 - 3
One thing we are learning about living in a pandemic, is that we are being reminded how unexpected events are molding and shaping our hearts.
Whether it is something that brings us joy, or even sorrow, there is something about each new day that we are encountering that changes us.
We are all learning something about empathy. It is easier to empathize with someone when you realize the similar journey. If you have been wounded, or experienced the joy similar to what is being shared, then our ability to be present with one another somehow is also changed.
Last year after my cousin, John, died while being cared for by the hospice that I serve, I suddenly discovered that with each new family that I was meeting, I could listen and understand what they were going through in a new way. Up until John's death, I was someone who cared for people who were on hospice, not completely understanding what the person was sharing and going through, until I made the journey with John.
While it has brought me to a new place, I realize that I don't have to encounter everything that people have experienced in order to care.
There are so many things present in the world today that cause us to move apart from one another. The world's fast-paced, 8 second sound bytes, leave us with the simple, "I'm fine," and walk away when we are asked how we are doing.
Imagine the answers to the same question, "How are you really doing?" if the person being asked really knew that you cared, and that you would stop to listen?
The unexpected cannot happen and change us unless we are willing to allow for it to happen.
Could you imagine if God were to listen to our needs the way that we listen to the needs of others?
Could you imagine our relationship with God if God only gave us 8 seconds to share what we are feeling, experiencing, or needing?
It serves as a reminder that we need to make our ability to create intimate relationships with one another something that we intentionally do.
In many ways, our lives become an empty existence. Experiencing the unexpected requires a willingness to not be in control. It requires trust, surrender, and a willingness to allow God to guide us, even in the midst of the days were are living in now.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.