Posted by Kenny Lee on Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Approaching this article every week is a two-edged sword. Writing is both an opportunity to communicate as well as a responsibility to be a truth-teller. On my best days, a piece is a combination of both. Perhaps this will be one of those times.
During my weekend, I spent some time at my sister Loretta's house. Currently, her new job as a mortgage processor supervisor allows her the flexibility to work from home. Because of the pandemic, she opted for her -year-old to attend classes virtually. Her best friend since high school Kim lives around the corner and works from home as well. Kim has a ten-year-old and a freshman college student, both of which are attending classes virtually.
These working moms realize they are fortunate to work from home and have the technological resources for their kids to continue the education process during this difficult time. They are both reasonably tech-savvy, though from time to time, I do offer some technical advice. As we enjoyed some down-time together Friday evening, we talked about the challenges that school has presented for parents and students alike.
We all agreed that this is a time when safety is at the front of our decision-making as parents. But we also agreed that trying to juggle work and being a full-time teacher is not without its challenges. Kids are suffering psychologically and emotionally being separated from their peers and having limited social interactions. Much of the research that I read affirms that a lack of social interaction impacts children's development and their ability to learn.
I also had the opportunity to speak with an administrator from the school system where the kids I am using as examples are enrolled. The administrator was just as frustrated with the circumstances as the parents are, except that they are on the equation's flipside. Classroom teachers, administrators, and staff operate in an ever-changing work environment that requires more of their time and the mastery of new platforms and skillsets. If that were not enough, they put their health on the line every time they enter the building.
The truth-teller in me should note at this time that we are all just trying to find our way. None of us have ever lived something like this before, and hopefully, when this ends, never will again. Our struggle is real, on every level, and is likely going to continue for some time to come. As we each try to formulate an appropriate response to all this begs the question, "How can we get through this?"
To begin with, we need to understand that the pandemic has changed all of the rules. Our entire lives have been altered in very unexpected ways. Scott's message yesterday was a timely word on how deeply our society and the entire globe is impacted by a tiny virus. Everything has changed in six short months. Remember that we didn't get here all at once, and we likely will not recover all at once, either.
The good news is that we are not alone. We have our church family, our family of origin, and our community. As bad as it is in other places, it's not so bad here in Phillips County.
Most importantly, we have the Lord. Jesus promised to never leave us or forsake us. God continues to reach out to each of us with help and hope. The Holy Spirit lives and breathes and moves in us, giving us the means to keep being the Body of Christ in the communities where we reside. People need the Lord now more than ever. So do you. So does the preacher. God is not through with us yet. Thanks be to God.
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart Jeremiah 29:11-13