For most of my life, I have tried to find peace in doing enough of the right things. I believed if I worked hard enough, busied myself with enough things, and developed skills in enough areas I would eventually arrive at some undisclosed location where there would be peace.
So many of us are desperate for a return to normal, to the familiar, that I worry about one group that we all agree things will not be normal for: those who are at elevated risk, especially those 65 or older.
The interesting thing about ageism is that it often goes both ways. Sexism is usually referring to the unfair treatment of women, and racism in our country (given the inherent power dynamics) is always against people of color. Classism is understood to be the wealthy classes’ disdain for those in poverty. But ageism can refer to both the dishonoring of those with “gray hair” (Proverbs 16:31), as well as the dismissal of those who are young (1 Timothy 4:12).
In the coming years, when we look back on our cultural response to the novel coronavirus, shifting attitudes towards mask-wearing will prove an interesting case study. It has been fascinating to watch how the meaning of mask-wearing has changed in so short a time.
Let me confess that I have long been confused about Memorial Day.
The key to keeping our sanity and care for one another during this time comes (by way of pun) in choosing to do two seemingly contradictory things: “zooming in” and “zooming out.” We need to zoom in on finding what moments we can to pursue the Lord, to rest in him. We need to zoom out to see the bigger picture, to stay connected to Jesus’ body.