My daughter asked me how I interpret our new national experience theologically. Maybe the best thing to do is to try to not make too much sense of all this. Alas, my brain will seek out a puzzle even when one is not there. Gil Rendle writes, “It’s not a problem if it can’t be solved.” If it can’t be solved, it’s simply a condition which requires adaptation. Still I try to solve it.
I am trying to reconcile the intensity of global response with the growing consensus that most of us will get it, and most of us will be fine. I think what we’re facing is a mass experience of the human condition. We’re not used to all having the same experience at once. Normally we depend on 5 billion sets of emotions being diversified. Normally, a family member could suffer from an illness as serious or even more serious than coronavirus, and despite the individual severity, we could still depend on our community being wide enough to function and support us. In the case of COVID-19 the multiple layers of formal and informal relationships that support us on even our worst day are themselves suddenly having a very bad day. Such synchronicity is thankfully rare for all of us.
I’m going to lean into being human, with myself, my family, my congregation, and my community. I’m going to embrace the weirdness, maybe grieve a little, but I’m also going to laugh, find a way to contribute, and have faith in things and a God I never fully understand.