When all is going wrong and you're scared as hell
What you gonna do? Who you gonna tell?
A hundred bad days made a hundred good stories
A hundred good stories make me interesting at parties, yeah
No, I ain't scared of you
No, I ain't scared of you no more
-AJR, “100 Bad Days”, Neotheater
Can you believe the pandemic started more than two years ago? That’s 730 days. Plus.
I heard this song today as I was idly contemplating “where we now are in the pandemic”. Like spring, the signs of greater freedom are budding around us; unlike the last time(s) we thought the pandemic might be ‘over’, I’m a bit more jaded about these promising signs. We’ll certainly have spring and summer soon, but I’m not quite ready to recommend any sort of rush towards figuring out the next chapter of church life (although be sure to check out these ideas when you’re ready).
What do we do with these feelings of hope and signs of spring?
I recommend taking your stories to a (pandemically low risk) party! Better yet, take your stories to a party at church.
Saying we’ve all been through a lot is laughably understated. Many of us are still acutely suffering, whether it is being immunocompromised or sheltering unvaccinated children or living with the grief of the loss of a loved one or struggling with long covid effects. We know some truths from fellow humans who have suffered a lot and suspect there might be more ahead: In hard times, people do well when they pause to connect and celebrate when they can.
And what better time than spring to do exactly that in our communities?
How can you safely gather and connect this spring? How can you celebrate what you have and mourn what you’ve lost? How can you tell your 730 bad-day stories to those poised to hear them, until your fear subsides and your stories become…interesting?
This is how we stay present to all the pleasure and potential of these times while strengthening and healing ourselves so we’re ready for whatever comes next. Ritual, storytelling, celebration, these are our magical tools for days 731 to 1460 and beyond. We don’t have to keep being scared. We don’t have to rush forward, and we don’t have to be stuck in the past, either. As long as we got each other we’re ready for anything.
May your stories become interesting and may our paths into the summer be interconnected ones.
Rev. Dr. Megan Foley