Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time for everything under the sun. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance. During this time of shelter in place and social distancing, in a world filled with many ups and downs, I feel that this is a time for everything.
This is a time to cry. Each day is a day that I am missing out on time with family, friends and our wonderful church community. Each day I experience some emotion that makes me want to cry. The feeling of loneliness and the intense need to be with the people I love. The feeling of frustration, of wanting to have somewhere to go other than my apartment.
This is a time to laugh. Each day, Elisa and I post a Facebook and Instagram live video featuring a challenge for the students. They are silly and fun, and made entirely for the sake of giving the students the chance to laugh with us (or at us depending on what the challenge is). These videos are just one way that I find time to laugh amidst all that is going on.
This is a time to mourn. Each day I think of the things that we, as a community, are going to lose and not get back. Life events and memories that simply can’t be replaced once they’re gone. There is a collective need to grieve and mourn in this season, because everyone has lost something.
This is a time to dance. Each day I find something to find joy in, a reason to smile, to find time to metaphorically (or physically!) dance. While we are all working to stay sane in our collective houses I think this is a particularly important time to dance. To celebrate the good, to express ourselves, to make sure to move our bodies. With all the mourning, crying and hardship, there is also so much to be celebrated. Maybe for you it is extra time with family, or more time for your hobbies. Maybe you have discovered a new skill or a new show you are thrilled to be watching. This is a time to dance, even if that time is only for a couple minutes each day.
This week in particular is a time for all of these things. In this week Jesus will be celebrated, betrayed, share an intimate loving dinner with his closest friends, cry out in anguish, be brutally murdered, and then finally, will be raised to life! This is a week for everything.
This is the time for a multitude of emotions and experiences. This is a time that we as a global community are going to be on a roller coaster of emotions. This is a time for contradictions. Where in one day you will cry and laugh, mourn and dance, seek and lose, stay silent and speak. This is a time for everything, and we need to embrace it.
So today, feel your feelings wherever they take you. Give yourself time to grieve, and then find time to celebrate. Give yourself time to rest, and then find time to try something new. Give yourself time to enjoy the quiet, and then find time to talk with someone you love.
For everything there is a season,
and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.