From the beginning of the pandemic, I have taken this virus seriously. I went to a wedding the weekend that Illinois schools closed and then quarantined for two weeks in the event that I might have caught the virus. I didn’t want to inadvertently get anyone sick, especially my family. Even as things opened up, my husband and I stayed home, preferring to safely gather with family and friends virtually. Eventually, we started to gather with people but only outside and 6 feet apart.
As the summer continued, I started to see people relax: widening their circle, going to events with large groups of people, not wearing masks, and not social distancing. I began to feel angry. I felt that I was taking every precaution to keep those around me safe, and I felt other people were not willing to give that same respect to me. I was surprised when people would post pictures with a group of friends. I started to get nervous about meeting with my LIFE group in person. A lot of the women are educators; were they more at risk? Would they put me more at risk? In the fall, we decided to not go to my brother in-law’s wedding because of COVID. We felt a sense of relief after making the decision, as we had been waffling over going for a while, which was quickly followed an overwhelming sadness that we were missing this important event.
The greatest sin I face in this situation is pride. I think I know better than those around me. I think I am better than those around me. Romans 7:18-19 says, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” Even though I’m sitting here being prideful, thinking I’m right and capable of judging others for their actions, ultimately my heart is inclined to evil. I am also guilty of judgment. Each time I see a social media post of people hanging out without masks or going to a wedding, especially when they don’t quarantine after, I judge them as being wrong. However, God is the only true judge of right and wrong.
Jesus is Lord over this pandemic, for He says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). He knew it would happen, He knows when it will end, He knows the name of each and every person who has died, recovered, or lost a friend or family member. Jesus is also Lord over our family relationships. He is Lord over the people who are not taking the same precautions that I am taking. I don’t know what’s going on in people’s hearts and minds that lead them to their decisions, but He does. Just as I am putting my trust in Jesus to keep me safe through the means He has provided, these women are putting their trust in Jesus to keep them safe, just through different means.
Thankfully, Jesus is my Savior. He died for my sins of pride and judgement before I was even born. When I confess my sins, Jesus takes these and removes them as far as the east is from west (Psalm 103:10-14). I deserve death for that pride and judgment and even yet, He’s removing that from me. He died the death I deserve as the penalty for my sin and instead of me suffering for that, He imparted righteousness on to me (2 Cor. 5:21). Sometimes I can try to be the savior and control everything thinking, “If I can just get everyone around me to do this, we will all be safe.” But the world’s safety is ultimately not up to me. Christ is the Lord in this. He is the Savior of the world.
In faith, I trust that Jesus will protect me and those around me who may not be taking the same precautions. I can trust that Jesus will provide an end to this pandemic. In faith, I can trust that regardless of how the women in my LIFE group respond to this pandemic, we are sisters in Christ and saved by grace. I can have honest conversations with them about what I’m comfortable doing when we meet, instead of assuming they already know. By faith, I can limit my social media intake, so I’m not focusing on what others do so much. Also, I can enter into difficult conversations with extended family members about what we are open to doing for the holidays. I can also be thankful for the technology that we have, and for the ways we can see people virtually. Overall, by placing my faith in Christ, I can be open and honest with family and friends and rest in knowing the Christ is Lord over us all.
Clarissa attended The Orchard Arlington Heights when she was growing up and has been attending The Orchard Barrington since 2010. She has been married to Tommy for four years and is a proud dog mom to a black lab mix named Poppyseed. She works as a senior analyst in space management at Walgreens and takes ballet classes in her free time.