Stay Home Family Over Everything
April 23, 2020
For nearly six weeks now, life as many of us have known it to be has been impacted by the Coronavirus. Many businesses have had to close the doors, people have lost their sources of income, their employment, etc. Life has seemingly caved in on us and is suffocating many. A forced quarantine is simply unprecedented. We have seen these times before since the early period of the 20th century. I've been concerned about the mental health of many people during this time, and with the daily death tolls, everyday had become, for me, filled with grief. For many of us, plans have needed to be postponed. Churches have had to deviate from their typical service formats and worship opportunities. Social distance as a term has manifested into many of our vocabularies. It used to be 3 ft no check in a game of pickup ball, but now it's 6ft away please, and if anyone sneezes, paranoia fills the room.
With all of that, there is, however, one factor that has come as a reminder ... the importance and significance of family. As the most original social institution, the hustle and flow of everyday life may have been stripping the value of family away before our very eyes. What has become increasingly evident is that family (or friends closer than a brother) is really all we have... that's why we say "Family Over Everything."
On the one hand, many of us have received difficult news that a love one had contracted COVID-19 and is quarantined from the rest of the world in their homes or in the hospital, accepting no visitors. This means, the last time you saw your loved one, was literally the last time you saw them, praying that they survive the virus. There are many families who were separated from their loved ones who have passed away after a few days of having the virus, and they couldn't be by their bedside. Imagine that! Imagine the emptiness. Imagine the helplessness of family who would do anything to just squeeze their beloved's hand and tell them that they're going to make it. Yet instead the next time we see them is 3-4 weeks later or at worse, in a casket having made their transition so suddenly.
What this does is it makes that "ok see you later" such an inappropriate cliché, because we truly don't know if later will ever come for the both of us and what later will look like. It makes the importance and significance of family even greater.
On the other hand, there's Stay Home, where those with families and children have now been forced to band together. Sure, there is Netflix, Social Media, and PS4, but after awhile those things lose out to the necessity of human interaction in real time, face-to-face. I have discovered so much about my children during this time. Perhaps our children's true colors are shown between the hours of 8am and 3pm, Monday thru Friday while at school. But for the last 6 weeks, some of us have found out a thing or two about our wonderful family. Maybe you have discovered strengths and weaknesses, gifts, and skills. Maybe you have shared family history that had yet to be discovered. Maybe it has been moments of self-reflection and self-care. Maybe it has simply been conversation and a game of UNO with one another. Whatever your experience has been, I am sure it has been valuable, and I am also sure it would not have happened to this degree without the executive order of Stay Home!
Stay Home is more than not going to the mall, the hair salon, or ball game. Stay Home is about studying God's word with your family. It is about refocusing family on faith in Jesus. Stay Home is about remembering the value of family relationships and developing or sustaining bonds that will be unbreakable even after this. Stay Home is about the impact of the future. How the wisdom and instruction that has been shared in these weeks will mode the maturity of the child you are raising. Mothers and daughters have shared cooking recipes. Father and sons have worked on projects around the house. Families have simply bonded. An unbreakable bond banded together by staying home. So, in the days, weeks, months, years to come ... STAY HOME! Even when the economy reopens and new normal has been implemented, Stay Home... Family Over Everything.
Rev. LT Willis is Pastor at New Jerusalem MBC Chuch in Inkster.