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A Pastor’s Perspective on Ending Our Quarantine

May 3, 2020

With gratitude to friends and colleagues Mark Horn for writing this graciously giving me permission to share it with you, and Bill Pyatt for pointing me to it (and as usual, highlights are mine to help save you time)— 

Don’t you like the Facebook prompt, “what’s on your mind?” So many times I have wanted to rant like I have seen so much of lately, but I have kept quiet until now. Now I want to rant.

I have had enough!! I have been cooped up for too long now and like just about everyone else I want out of this stay at home routine that is becoming life.

I want to get back to it all. I want to go to a restaurant and have a nice meal with my wife, my family, my friends. I want to go to the park and watch the grandkids and all kids play on the equipment. I want to get within an arms length of folks and give them a hug, a pat on the back, a bump on the shoulder and say, “it has been far too long.” I want to go to a movie, a concert, I want to go to the ball park, the soccer field, the race track, I want to go to church. I want all that and so much more.

I and you and so many of us have been abiding by the stay at home orders as much as we can. I have ventured out to lead worship with a few others (staying my distance and within the guideline of 10 or fewer) for the last several weeks and will continue to that for as long as it takes. I have made grocery store runs, pharmacy runs, even a few times out to pull through the drive-in for some food.

But, I have had enough.

I want to celebrate birthdays and weddings, I want to see graduations happen, I want expectant parents to be together at the birth of a child, I don’t want those confined to care facilities to be isolated from family and friends any longer. I know you all want the same things.

I also don’t want us to be rushed back into getting things back to normal.
Leaders at all levels, please hear this. You asked us weeks ago to do our very best to stay at home and keep our social distance and for the most part we have. Now I want you to help us all out here and not be in a rush to open things back up. For this reason, NONE OF US wants to have to do this again any time soon. So, you have asked and we have complied. Now you do this next thing for all of us. Look over the top of this flattening curve carefully, very carefully. Because I think you are doing what a politician would do and try and rush to a conclusion because it looks good.

This is not about politics, you told us upfront it was about saving lives. SO keep it that way. Keep it about saving us from ourselves. Make this be the defining moment when we as Americans haven’t been rushed into another feel good moment before we know the whole picture. Let’s listen to the ones who have been fighting the battle at the front lines. Let’s listen to the medical experts.

Sure they don’t have all the answers just yet. Well we have come this far so what if it takes a little longer.

For those who are concerned about the economy, well so is everyone. We are concerned and worried too. But if we rush into this now the repercussions will be worse than the short term cure of reopening too soon. Because a second shut down will likely mean the end for many businesses whether they mom and pop stores or large corporations.

For those of you feeling like you have been cooped up too long already, I get it. So have we all. But there are far worse things that could happen.
Being a pastor I can’t help but remember the Exodus story of the people not long after they left bondage in Egypt behind and when the newness of freedom gave over to the boredom of wandering in the wilderness, started to long for a return to “normal” and cried out for relief from the new situation they found themselves in. They too listened to some so called experts at the time. They weren’t willing to listen to the One who knew.

We can do this, even if it takes longer than we want, longer than we hoped initially, longer than we put on our own schedule or to-do lists.

We are going to make it. No matter what, we have come this far already, let us make this be the only time we have to stay at home during this pandemic.

Together, we can make.

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