After all of the trauma and drama, the loss and the fear, it was suddenly over. The three friends, unsure of the future, returned to the familiarity of their jobs and the lives they led before it all happened.
The problem was, they were different now, and they had trouble picking up where they had left off. Their lives had changed forever.
Like those three friends, I think we’re fooling ourselves if we think we will return to our lives after Covid and find them waiting for us like nothing happened.
We have all been changed in profound ways. We see the world differently, and we see each other differently. We have had to face fear and deal with an anger that runs deeper than we knew.
Some of us have learned to love more deeply and to be grateful for the million miracles that previously escaped our notice.
Some of us have given ourselves over to a rage or condescension that we would have thought ourselves incapable of a year ago.
Some of us have lost a loved one.
Peter, James and John tried to return to the quiet lives they led before meeting Jesus on that Galilean shore, but they were no longer made for that life. The fishermen they once were had been transformed. After all that they had been through, perhaps they longed for the predictability of their lives before meeting Jesus. But inside them now there was a stirring and a call to something deeper.
Meeting Jesus does that to a person. He has a way of opening doors, opening minds and opening hearts. He has a way of illuminating hope in the darkest of places. He has a way of revealing us to ourselves.
If we listen and learn from Him, we will emerge from this pandemic with a strength of character and depth of conviction that eluded us before. Now that our illusions of safety and prosperity have been shattered, we can move forward with the courage of those whose lives are rooted in heaven instead of on earth.
Like those men, it may be tempting to return to what was familiar, to our comforts and ignorance.
But also like those men, we who have had a life-altering encounter with Jesus have been called to tend the existential wounds of the ones who have no anchor for their soul.
So let’s step into this gap, one prayer, one act of service, one offering of grace at a time. Let’s adorn our homes with hope and our words with encouragement. We were made for greater things than clinging to our insecurities, and now is the time to step out and share the healing love of Jesus with a world in pain.