In a conversation I had recently a friend mentioned an illustration that they used recently that I felt describes incredibly well what I, and I’m sure many others, have experienced over the past 18 months. During that time our whole world has been shaken by something no one expected or predicted. It has impacted every person in every nation across the whole world. The result is that our lives have been changed in multiple ways on multiple levels.
For me it has had a real impact on my mental health. I was already suffering from depression before Covid struck and the impact of Covid has only deepened and broadened that depression. But the pandemic has impacted us in many different ways. Our relationships have changed, for many of us we went months without seeing our children or parents. Some of us have missed out on the early years of our grandchildren. For this with school aged children the pandemic has severely impacted their education. Many have lost jobs or had their income significantly reduced. Where once we would have been happy in mixing with others fairly freely, even in crowded spaces, now we may be nervous and avoid such contact if at all possible. Many of us experienced online grocery shopping for the first time in our lives and still prefer to do so, not because it is better than going to the supermarket but because it minimised the possibility of catching covid.
The illustration comes from the world of geology. During earthquakes the ground can on occasions be so shaken that it loses it’s solid properties and becomes like a liquid. It is called liquefaction. I’m not a geologist or a scientist but this appears to be a real phenomena which you can google and even find a few YouTube videos showing the effects.
That is exactly what some of us have experienced over the past 18 months. The solid ground of things we relied on and trusted, the things we grown up with and haven learn’t to rely on, have all of a sudden trend to jelly or melted away. This is true in our relationships, our work settings and the church.