Updated: Aug 20, 2022
By Anna Rouse
It’s been a day of reflection. That’s not a bad thing. Reflection is good. It centers you and reminds you what is important. Often the circumstances that cause us to reflect aren’t so good, but reflection itself is a very good thing.
Last night, toward the end of our softball game our coach stopped our game and gathered us all out onto the field to pray for a player on the field next to us. I looked over to see someone doing CPR on one of the players just out of the dugout. He had a seizure as he was coming back into the dugout and collapsed. His heart stopped, he stopped breathing, and if not for his teammates giving him CPR for a minute and a half, he might not have made it. As we were praying for him, he started to breathe again. The ambulance came and took him away, and from all accounts he’s going to be fine. But it was a scary moment. I can only imagine what it was like for his teammates. I loved that our coach pulled us together to pray for the man. That was powerful and the best thing we could have possibly done.
Then I found out that a guy I know, who co-led one of my photography groups and who I have taken pictures with several times over the years (and he was an amazing photographer!), passed away this morning. With COVID I haven’t seen people as often as I would like, and it had been a year since I had seen him. It seemed like I was just out with him taking pictures of the sunset at Mt Tam, and now he’s gone.
When you add all of the people fighting cancer and COVID, friends who are getting ready to have serious surgeries, and a friend whose mother and stepfather probably won’t make it through the year, it’s a reminder of how fragile, yet how precious, life truly is.
As I have been reflecting today, there have been a few important things that have stood out to me.
First of all, who I am in Christ is the most important thing. When it is my time to go, He is the only solid hope I have. It’s so easy to get caught up in my own things and in the things of life around me, but He alone has the words of life. He alone can bring life. He alone is the one strong enough to put my hope in. Where else can I go?.
Secondly, the relationships with the people I have here are so important. Whether that’s family or friends, these relationships make up what’s truly important in life. That’s been tough with COVID as we’ve been so isolated. We haven’t been able to spend time with others like we could in the past. We haven’t been able to have dinners together or worship together at church. Birthday parties became drive by events, and the cat ends up being your companion for the holidays. We haven’t been able to play softball, go on photo shooting events or go hiking with a group after work.
In some ways, COVID has made us realize how important these relationships are, yet in others, it’s isolated us for so long that we’re starting to believe that living like this is normal. It’s not normal. That’s not how we were created to live. We were created for community. We need each other. Those relationships, whether family or friends, someone you see every week or only once a month, are so very important.
Closely related to this is the importance of how we treat one another. How I treat someone can lift them up or tear them down. Do we improve the room when we enter or when we leave? Do we make a positive difference in the lives around us? Sometimes it’s something as simple as a smile, a hug, a card, but it’s so easy to be self-centered instead. I truly want to be intentional about making a positive difference in the lives around me..
And last of all, coming together is so important. When our coach pulled us all together last night, it was a prayer force that was powerful. We came from different teams, different backgrounds, different ages, different playing abilities, different races, different socioeconomic statuses, different political views, yet none of that mattered. We could all come together as one. We could unite and be way more powerful than the sum of the individuals.
Not only has COVID isolated us, but politics, racial tension and everything else it seems is threatening to divide us. We don’t have to agree on everything to come together and make a difference. We don’t have to agree on everything to care about one another. We don’t have to agree on everything to realize that we’re each important; we’re each created by God and are in this world to make a difference. If we were all the same, life would be pretty boring. We’re each a thread in the amazing tapestry of life.
I’m glad the guy last night made it through his ordeal. I’m sorry Erick didn’t, and I will miss him. I pray that those dealing with cancer and COVID can have healing and peace. Reflection rarely comes unless there are negative circumstances to get you to do that reflecting.
But it’s good to be reminded of what’s truly important and the difference I can make if I choose to do so.