Soul Care During the Time of Coronavirus
Will Johns, Pastor of Potomac Conference's Beltsville church's Tech Road Campus in Silver Spring, Md., shared the following message, encouraging us to care for our souls during this tough time.
I have been thinking about this question: What is the best way to respond to what we are currently facing? I think the answer to that question for me is soul care.
Let me explain what I mean.
We have all heard the announcement before we take off on an airplane that should the cabin loose air pressure, we should secure our own oxygen masks before attempting to help others secure their mask. Initially, that seems like a selfish thing to do. But there is great wisdom in this practice. If you personally pass out, you will not be able to help anyone. This is a continual tension that everyone who seeks to serve others faces in life.
That's why I feel that more than ever, we need to be intentionally about caring for our souls right now. If I loose my trust in God, I won't be able to help others very well. The term soul means the whole person to me. Our body, mind and spirit. And so caring for our soul means that we intentionally take care of our bodies. That's why we are all being careful to wash our hands and social distance from others. We don't want to get sick. This self-focused care also benefits others. We keep from spreading disease to them. We have energy to help others if we ourselves are not sick.
Just as this is true physically, it is also true emotionally and spiritually. Anxiety is all around us right now. We can either add to the collective anxiety by panicking ourselves or we can seek to ground our faith in God and help bring needed calm to a very difficult situation. As I have attempted to care for my own soul, I have seen that in a way, I am grieving the loss of "life as normal." As a result, I find myself bouncing back and forth in some of the stages of grief.
The 5 stages of grief and loss are:
1. Denial and isolation
People who are grieving do not necessarily go through the stages in the same order or experience all of them. Be compassionate with yourself right now, as you are most likely still processing the changes that have taken place in your life in the past couple of weeks. It takes time to get to acceptance, especially when what we are accepting at this point is unknown. So be patient with yourself and give yourself time to process these changes through journaling, prayer, or sharing with another person.
A simple focus that has helped me is the Great commandment that Jesus gave us to love God and love others (see Matthew 22:37-40). I have found peace in entrusting myself and those I love to God's care. This peace is in the background of my life even when anxiety and fear are in the foreground. But after taking time to connect with God spiritually, I have comfort and joy in attempting to serve others. Calling people to make sure they are ok. Texting people to check in. To let them know I'm thinking of them and praying for them. So I encourage you this week to take time to care for yourself, body, mind and spirit.
Connect with God and with others. We can all learn from each other. I offer my thoughts as a means to trigger your thinking on this topic and to decide for yourself how you want to handle this challenging time
May you all sense God's peace in your heart this week.
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