5 Things the Protests and the Pandemic Have in Common
Twice in a matter of months, this nation has been brought to our knees. First by an anxiety-inducing virus that threatened the lives of all Americans. And then, by an incomprehensible act which took the life of one.
These are watershed moments in our country.
Made worse by happening simultaneously. Or perhaps these horrific circumstances collided intentionally, so we would no longer turn a blind eye or a deaf ear.
So the disease that threatens our humanity is addressed.
I see human beings. Anything else is unimaginable.
This is a country in a crisis of foundation. Of the core principles, we were built upon and stand for, both as individuals and as a nation.
We are Being Called Upon to Pray
The pandemic has created a medical, financial, and emotional crisis. One so large and overwhelming it is greater than us. It reminds us that sometimes we find ourselves in situations where prayer is the only way out.
George Floyd’s family had the remarkable grace to tell this country they were both peaceful and God-fearing. Incredible words during their darkest moments. And in doing so, prayer and protest united. People and Police. Literally bringing many to their knees.
We are Being Called Upon to Love Better
The pandemic has peeled back layers of the community. People watching out for one another, supplying meals, risking their lives as essential workers and first responders, and more. People personifying love.
The protests have erased the differences of color as seen in the faces of those who march. People from all walks of life have joined in compassion and humanity in an attempt to love better. To give a voice to a man whose own voice was stolen.
We are Being Called Upon to Unite
The pandemic thrust a serious and crippling crisis upon this country. And it soon became clear, the only way to fight it was to unite. Nothing would be accomplished and lives would not be saved unless we worked together.
A peaceful God-fearing man lost his life senselessly. Outrage and love compelled his fellow Americans to unite in his honor. Understanding there would be no real justice for him nor others like him unless their arms met one another.
We are Being Called Upon to Examine Our Country’s Foundation
The pandemic slowed the rapid pace of this country. It made us reconsider our vulnerabilities. The weaknesses we had created within our system. And the infrastructure and professions that ground us. How we had carelessly discarded ‘made in America’ and taken for granted our people and our resources.
The protests have stripped us back to our foundational core. The inequities that still exist for people of color. That we are not truly a blended country. That injustice still finds good people. That what our nation stands for isn’t necessarily every person's truth.
We are Being Called Upon to Examine Our Relationships
The pandemic made many retreat toward home. It brought back the family, shared meals, and conversation. It fostered communication in many forms. It instilled a sense of community. Neighbor helping neighbor. Stranger helping strangers. It re-established the importance of relationships.
The protests are filled with outraged individuals demanding change. People who value the life of another. The pain of his family. Reminding this country a relationship is a connection with one another. We are all Americans.
It is no coincidence there are commonalities in the pandemic and the protests. In the loss of many and the loss of one.
We are being called upon. As a country and as a people.
To examine our values and our foundation. To love better. To call for change. And to understand the horrific actions of a few don’t reflect the many who would never bear to steal another’s breath.
Twice in a matter of months, this nation has been brought to our knees.
So that we might address the disease which threatens our humanity.
In the words of John Lewis, we are being called upon to “Get in the way.”
*Please note: This was written with great respect for George Floyd and his family and their unimaginable suffering. It is a reflection of God and country and humanity. It is not meant to be political nor controversial. It is meant to be respectful and reflective.