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Lost Days

Today marks four months since the world shut down because of COVID-19.

Four months.

Four months?

That Thursday, March 12th, I was wrapping up an exploratory trip to San Felipe, getting ready to host a pastors dinner in Ensenada. I had Spring Break mission trips starting on Saturday. The NCAA tournament selection show was on Sunday. The Rolando Street Fair was just two weeks away. I had flights booked to go to The Final Four with Jackson, just in case the Aztecs made it.

September 11th, 2001 happened in a day. Two hours of terror and it was over, though the ripple effects cast a shadow on the next twenty years of life.

March 12th, 2020 has been more like a deep sea earthquake setting off a massive tsunami that’s impacted the shores of every doorstep on the planet.

I don’t know when the aftershocks of March 12th will settle. Like waves in a swimming pool the tsunami of COVID-19 continues to bounce back and forth.

Things get better. Things get worse.

Things get better. Things get worse.

Things get better. Things get worse.

Things get better. Things get worse.

It’s tiring. And it’s easy to get lost in it.

Coping with Community Trauma

One thing I’ll never forget in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake is the value of giving people time and permission to talk about what happened. Etched in my memory from being there five weeks after the earthquake that killed so many and devastated everything else is our group going from tent to tent in IDP camp after IDP camp and simply offering someone the dignity of time. “Tell me what happened that day.” And then, after listening to their story, offering to pray for them.

So simple. Yet so needed.

In those camps every family had a shared trauma. They were all survivors and they knew some had it worse than others, so they just didn’t talk about their loss. And, consequently, people were stuck in their grief.

But, in July 2020, in our case, the trauma is happening to all of us and none of us have missionaries knocking on our doors to hear about the loss we’ve experienced.

We are stuck in our grief.

And we need help.

We need people in our lives willing to listen, to help us process, to help us let go, to help us move on.

Until then, here we are, languishing in the swimming pool of our lost days.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

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