Are you prepared?
That’s a heavy question these days. For many, it means “Do we have toilet paper?” For others, it presses hard with the wondering, “What if I contract the virus?” And for most, it invites an examination of one’s financial condition – “Do we have enough resources to get through this?” Of course, in some religious traditions, the question points to one’s acceptance of or struggle with mortality, as in “Are you ready to meet your Maker?” But the extraordinary conditions in which we find ourselves these days prompt the outcry “How could we be prepared for this?!”
But we do well to do what we can. And in many ways. Physical readiness with supplies and necessities. Health precautions of hand washing, temperature taking, distance. Mental preparedness staying occupied and engaged in positive activities. And similarly, emotional and spiritual fitness in the face of separation from family, friends, community. The Presbyterian Mental Health Network offers a single-page resource to encourage preparedness as it is possible; you can find it here: PMHN Resource
A recent post on Montreat’s website contains a marvelous story. It’s author, Rev. Eileen Lindner, describes being in war-torn Sarajevo years ago. At the hotel where she stayed, signs were posted in three different languages, English being one. The words were simple: “Food Here” at the dining room; “Go Up” by the elevator. She writes,
As I passed a dilapidated swimming pool filled with bomb rubble, I read the English signage ‘No swim without a savior,’ (meaning, of course, lifeguard). Good advice I thought and still think. No swimming without a savior and – no pandemic fighting without one either! Our hope is pinned to the creating, redeeming and sustaining Lord of life.”
As the number of fatalities rise, so might our fears. And so the question returns: “Are you prepared?” To stay home and remain calm. To observe the warnings and heed the advice. And yet hold onto connections and hope. We are not in this alone. Our Savior is on duty, and “he who watches over you will not slumber” (Psalm 121:3). Trust. Pray. Repeat.