There is a lot of excitement right now as people begin to reconnect with others after a year of being locked down. I’m happy to hear that Covid death rates are decreasing. Many of us have lost family members or know others who have lost loved ones due to this dreaded disease. So it will be nice to say goodbye to Covid and all the restrictions it placed on our lives.
However, some are having re-entry anxiety. I was surprised when I first heard this term. It basically means an uneasiness about schools and offices opening, giving hugs and handshakes, or attending large and small social gatherings. Although more and more people are getting vaccinated and Covid outbreaks are down, some people are not feeling safe enough to be out and about yet. Plus, there are other concerns besides Covid that add to our anxiety.
- Hate crimes towards Asians and Jews are increasing.
- Work place shootings are rising.
- Mass shootings continue.
- Unruly behavior is taking place at sports events.
- People of color are afraid to be stopped by the police.
- Disorderly conduct on airplanes is resulting in arrests.
- Mental health conditions are on the rise.
- Racism tension continues to increase.
- Road rage shootings seem worse now than ever.
- Political discussions are still disruptive.
No wonder people are concerned about the re-entry process. As much as I have enjoyed spending time at Starbucks where I would read and share the ministry with people, I am hesitant to go back.
An article I read about re-entry anxiety suggested taking a gradual approach to resuming certain activities. We can do it slowly—one step at a time. Everyone is different, so it is best not to compare ourselves with others who seem to deal with the re-entry process faster than we do.
I heard an old song recently which still holds true today: “What the World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love.” It really breaks my heart to read about some of the things taking place in our country today. We need to find ways to show more love to people.
I’ve tried to put that into practice in simple ways. When I go to the Post Office, I will hold the door for people who need a little extra help. If I am at the grocery store and the person behind me only has one or two items, I will invite them to go in front of me. I heard a speaker say she will buy McDonald’s $5.00 gift cards to give to the homeless when they approach her. I am sure you have many other things you do to show love and respect for others.
Although the media will focus on all the bad things happening in our world today, there are stories of hope, too. Here’s an amazing story that brought joy to my heart.
There was a black couple and a white couple. Both husbands were in need of a kidney. The wives just happened to work at the same company and a co-worker introduced them. They found out that both their husbands needed a kidney. Kidneys can’t be transplanted unless the donor is a match for the recipient. Neither wife was a match for her husband. However, the story ends with the black wife being able to give the white husband her kidney and the white wife being able to give her kidney to the black husband. Now both couples have a new lease on life. What a wonderful story! You see, it was not about color. It was about saving each other’s husband. These families will share this miracle forever.
A couple of scriptural exhortations come to mind. Romans 12:10 (ESV) tells us to love one another with brotherly affection and outdo one another in showing honor. I Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV) tells us to encourage one another and build one another up. Yes, what the world needs now is love, sweet love!
As we navigate our re-entry process, we will be reconnecting with others. As reconcilers, let’s continue to be examples of showing others love and respect.
Thank you again for your prayers and support as we continue the work that has been given us to do. Love and blessings!