At some primal level, due to instincts inherited from our ancestors, humans often respond to uncertainty by keeping busy. We stockpile. We prepare. We shore up defenses. When things feel chaotic, being active can give us a sense of regaining some control over our lives. Activity can also distract us from our fears. During times of uncertainty, it is usually easier to be active than to be still. One of the hardest things to do is to wait.
During the pandemic, many people became busier. But even amid so much activity, much of our collective experience had been one of waiting. Waiting for a haircut. Waiting to hear when schools will reopen. Waiting for medical test results. I know people who have used these months creatively. Purposefully. Planting gardens. Baking bread. Fostering shelter pets.
During these months, citizens also have used their voices to call for justice, reminding leaders of their responsibilities for the safety and well-being of people of color. May we see that moment for what it was—a time for holy impatience, and a time to call for action and justice for all God’s people.
This message is an excerpt from “Our Lord come: Waiting amid uncertainty” by Joy Schroeder in the December 2020 issue of Gather magazine.