We are afraid…

We are all afraid – afraid for ourselves, afraid for our families, afraid for our friends, afraid for those we know are most vulnerable among us. This fear is multiplied by the reality that we have to be physically separated from each other to slow the spread of the virus and that those who contract the virus often have to be physically separated from their families and loved ones.

Our fear makes us hesitant to talk with each other about this reality. In some ways it is easier not to talk about it. It can be so overwhelming that we are apt to try and ignore it as a coping mechanism. We may give each other knowing looks that show we know what each other is feeling, but we often find it very difficult to talk about it.

Maybe for some of us not talking about our fear and vulnerability is the only way we can cope with the anxiety, but I hope we will work through this and begin to share our fears and feelings more openly with our friends and family. We are all in this together, and we need to let each other know how we are feeling, how much we love each other, and how scared we are to be physically separated from one another.

We also need to let each other know that if we have to be separated from each other by physical distance that our love for each other cannot be removed even if we cannot be physically present. The healthcare professionals may have to be our physical representatives of the human presence, but our love and spiritual presence will always be there.

We need to have these conversations of love and care with each other so that our spiritual presence of love is felt even more fully in the event of our physical separation. We need to let each other know that nothing can ultimately separate us from each other. Our love will be eternally present, no matter what.

So take this post as one of my ways of breaking through my fear to let you know that I love you and that you are important to me, even if we have never met. We are in this together. Nothing will separate us from each other.

About Mark Y. A. Davies

Mark Davies is the Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and Director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. He is the Executive Director of the Leadership, Education, and Development (LEaD) Hub North America of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church and an Oklahoma Humanities State Scholar. Mark has published in the areas of Boston personalism, process philosophy and ethics, and ecological ethics. Dr. Davies serves on the United Methodist University Senate, which is “an elected body of professionals in higher education created by the General Conference to determine which schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools meet the criteria for listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.” He and his wife Kristin live in Edmond, OK in the United States, and they have two daughters. The views expressed by the author in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of Oklahoma City University or the United Methodist Church.
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