Tuesday, June 25 2024 - 12:20 AM
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Stay Safe or Serve Others?

I want to be honest. I am struggling. I’m struggling with what is right. I am struggling with what is safe. I’m struggling with what I am supposed to be doing right now?! On one hand, I am hearing “stay safe, stay home, stop the spread.” On the other hand, I am hearing there is a shortage of blood and I happen to be a universal donor (probably my most heroic trait). Children are being abused and going without meals. Elderly are afraid to leave their homes to get essentials. The sky is falling and zombies will be knocking at my door any moment now…

My mother told me last night that she feels helpless and just wants to do something. Ironically, her servitude and genuine care for others that she doesn’t even know about must have skipped a generation. I am far more concerned for my parents, my children, my near and dear, close to heart tribe of 12 to 20 (depending on the day) folks. She mentioned delivering meals for school-aged children. I freaked out. I FORBID (forbade?) her to leave the house (again). That went over like a lead balloon.

My teenage years flashed before my eyes. Half frustration toward my parents’ stubborn willful ways and half repentance toward my own stubborn willful ways overtook me. I suggested she do something less…..public. Perhaps write letters to prisoners (the ones still left in jail). Foster a puppy. Plant air cleansing foliage in the garden. Learn a new language. All suggestions she seemingly appreciated by saying, “No thanks.”

It got me to thinking though. As an overly cautious hypochondriac with severe situational infused OCD, what is the best thing to do right now? Mr. Roger’s Mom said “to look for the helpers.” Yet, we are told the best thing to do is stay home and keep to ourselves right now.

Is it possible to help…but from a distance? Is it safe? Or is helping and serving more important than staying safe right now? Is helping causing others less safety for those that cannot fight this virus (which is becoming more evident could be ANY ONE of us; age, immunity, rank, position and social security number aside)? I believe it lies in the precautions taken when offering to serve. Wearing masks, wearing gloves, maintaining the safe six-foot distance. Maybe it is possible to stay safe while simultaneously being a servant?

I can’t really see Jesus staying home and secluding himself from society. Of course, he had the power to heal, which would sure come in handy right now. Also, he was immune to earthly pandemics. Or maybe not (I’m no biblical scholar)? I do feel confident in saying he did not let his fear keep him from serving, loving and helping others…even when times were not necessarily safe for him to do so. Especially when times were unsafe for him to do so.

So maybe there is a way. A safe way. Maybe some of us are meant to stay home and serve from behind a computer, write letters, or encourage others with words via email. Or we might say faithful prayers for others, make phone calls to a neighbor or friend, or participate in virtual Happy Hours via Zoom to check in with those nearest and dearest.

Maybe others are meant to step outside the safety of their home and serve in more physical (still socially distant) ways. Maybe the desire to do one or the other is God’s spirit leading each of His children to their assigned post in fighting this viral pandemic war?

I don’t have the answers. I’m just as confused as….whoever else is confused. But I do think there is room for more than one way to exist in these troubled times. Even unconventional means can still ensure safety and stopping the spread.

This is all just the whimsical ramblings of a quarantined woman meandering through the vast jungle of sanity, peace, excitement, frustration, fear, relaxation, gratefulness and hope. Sharing is caring, and I really do care, even if I am afraid to show it outside of my home right now. I pray for wisdom to know what is right and essential in surviving these days of uncertainty and unrest.

Manndi DeBoef writes from Missouri.

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About Manndi Deboef

Manndi DeBoef

Manndi Deboef

writes from Missouri.

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