Mary Manz Simon, ALOA Board of Directors
My brain is exhausted. I’ve spent hours debating a question with potential life and death consequences: “Should I shop for groceries?”
Even a simple decision is so complicated. As older adults, we are acutely aware of the dangers. Many of us have medical issues which make us even more susceptible to complications from the coronavirus.
“Should I shop for groceries?” My decision weighs heavily; that choice could impact me and the elderly cancer survivor next door. The responsibility is overwhelming.
Multiple levels of thought are needed before taking the simplest actions. Complex issues continually reshape a reality we could have never imagined. Everything is so difficult; brain fatigue is a condition of the evolving new normal.
We each crave the safety of familiar routines that gave our days such order. We hunger for the hugs that reflect personal relationships. We long for an end point to this madness. We desperately needed Easter.
Did you hear the angel’s urgent, new relevance in the message at the tomb? Adapting pandemic language, “Be mindful, not fearful,” came through loud and clear.
In the Gospel of Mark, we read that on the first Easter, “when the women ran from the tomb, they were confused and shaking all over. They were too afraid to tell anyone what had happened.” (Mark 16:8, CEV)
We now understand such paralyzing fear; coronavirus statistics soar to staggering heights. Mysterious microbes float unseen, yet land everywhere. Rumors, fact and fiction intertwine. The sheer stress of the crisis triggers irrational behavior. Yet the angel’s message so long ago is clear for us during this Easter week: “Be mindful, not fearful.” Stay in the moment, but don’t dwell on your fear.
The Resurrection vividly reminds us that “Christ died and was raised to life, and now he is at God’s right side, speaking to him for us.” (Romans 8:34) Even now, Jesus has the ear of His Father. Even now, Jesus is pleading for us with God, our father.
“Be mindful, not fearful,” for when we shift away from fear, the promise of Easter is revealed.