This past year has been trying for everyone. The pandemic has pushed us to the brink and back again. It has taught us to cherish, to fear, to love, to lose, to guard, to distance, to yearn, and to find again. And, it created my favourite thing of all. It created a new generation of outsiders.
I imagine that when god was looking down at the world, all he was able to see was the backs of peoples heads, eyes down at the screen, forgetting to look up once in a while. I imagine him just shaking his head, while he was trying to sort out how to snap everyone out of this virtual world. How could he get us back into the land of face to face communication, face to face playing, and giving people undivided attention? How could he teach us how to remember what it felt like before screens took over our lives? Was it possible to capture the worlds attention and reverse the clock and remind everyone what life was really about?
I don’t think anyone ever predicted the world coming to a halt. Borders closing. Lives shutting down, and walls being put up around everyone’s friends and family. Isolation. Desperation. Alone with out selves, our thoughts, and our families. The initial burden, and fear, however eventually gave way to what I call the outsiders. People started putting down their phone, and opening up their hearts. They went outside. They talked, they played, they walked, the found their voice. They looked up at people and said hello. Bikes, rollerblades and scooters were dusted off, balls were kicked, and chairs were put out on the front lawns to meet safely with neighbours and friends. Time became cherished, a hug given new meaning, and the simple things found new enjoyment. Picnic blankets are finding new grass, and memories of outdoor chats in person are being remembered. Appreciation for family, friends, and how easy we all had it before is becoming known. Parks, splash pads, sprinklers and pools, finding new feet to frolic around in. Future vacations being planned and not taken for granted. Bbq’s and parties and family dinners no longer a burden, but appreciated that we were lucky enough to have been able to do those things. We became outsiders again.
Lock-down has brought on a hope for better days, and for a day when we can do of those things that we never gave a passing thought too. Things that were taken for granted, now have new meaning. I believe that through this pandemic, God was able to get us all to look up, and he now can see our faces. We see everyone around us now, and we see this beautiful world and life that has been provided for us. Our eyes have been opened to what we refused to see before, and to what we need to see now. My hope is that we continue to look forward, and that we are able to always remember what we lost. I hope that our phones stay down a little longer each day, and we remain outsiders forever.