On Being Fragile

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”                                     Matthew 6:19 – 21

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have broken a plate, cup, vase, glass or other fragile item over the years.  The interesting thing is that of all the things I or my children have broken, I only remember one and that was because it was something my Grandmother gave me.  Other than that I don’t specifically remember any of the broken plates, cups, etc. that no longer exist because they were dropped or knocked off a table or something.  They were things that while I liked them, they were still things.  They were nice to have but like our scripture says in this world the things we own may be stolen, destroyed, or just wear out over time. No “thing” is permanent.

While our things or stuff don’t last in the long run, I hope our impact on the world will last…at least for this lifetime.  Our impact comes from how we treat the people in our lives.  They can be family, friends, and neighbors….they can also be the strangers we meet day to day as we go about our daily activities…which right now isn’t a whole lot of activity…but our state of Florida, along with many others, are beginning to cautiously open back up.  For Florida, today we begin a full phase one operation.  And while there are some businesses still shuttered many are allowed to partially open back up. This is good and this is bad.

You may wonder why I think it is both good and bad.  I am glad you asked! It is good that we are beginning to open our economy back up.  Many businesses and the people who work for them have taken quite a financial hit. We cannot continue to shelter in place without destroying our economy.  So we need to find a way to be able to open our economy up for businesses. Unfortunately in opening back up, we do this while we still do not have either herd immunity to Covid-19 or a working vaccine. So getting back to normal, whatever that might be, is filled with risk. We need to continue to find ways that keep people safe from becoming sick. There are no easy answers. Which means that opening back up is both good and bad.  Especially bad if we all don’t take precautions when we venture out into our communities as some individuals state of health is fragile.

Unfortunately there are many who scoff at all this and refuse to wear masks or take other safety measures seriously.  Worse there are many more who are quite frankly just plain rude and entitled as they go about shopping and other errands.  They are not taking kindly to the slower pace or changed work hours of many businesses who are trying to do their best under some very trying circumstances.  It is shameful the way they are behaving.  Yes…I know I am using some pretty stern language there. The difficultly is that in addition to many people being more susceptible to the effects of the virus we are all in a fragile mental state of mind to begin with as we begin to emerge from sheltering in place. We all have some form of cabin fever. We all have some form of anxiety over our financial health. If there is a boat we are all in it is this one: our hearts are fragile.

The trouble is we have all been socially isolated for nine weeks…I think…I am not sure as my days are running into one another.  It is Monday right? Anyway…people have a serious case of what I call cabin fever and it effects each of us differently.  For some it is no big deal. For others it is a nightmare of epic proportions.  Some may feel a little antys…some may turn into a full blown Dr. Hyde and rampage throughout the streets where they live.  The reality is that most of us are fragile to some extent.  Now is the time to not only be good to ourselves but to be good to others. We don’t want to emerge from the effects this virus has had on the world as really unpleasant human beings.  We don’t want to break one another as if we were nothing more than a china cup.  Because there is a big difference between our fragile hearts and china.  China can be glued back together or repurposed into cool art.  Our hearts…our fragile souls…sometimes like Humpty Dumpty can’t be put back together.

My prayer for you all today is that you choose to be good to others.  Even if others are not being good to you.  Give those who are difficult some grace knowing that we are all a little fragile in a variety of ways because our world has been turned upside down, our economy is in dire straits, and we have been isolating for….how long has it been…..? Most of all if you find yourself struggling and unable to deal with the feelings you are having find someone to talk to. And remember, you are not alone in this.



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