A Serious Wound

The pain hurt.

By not as much as the bystanders. Those who looked on and saw, but did not act. They saw the tears, they witnessed what was happening. But turned away.

And. Did. Nothing.

The wounds, I’m told, could’ve been worse

“…you’ll just make things worse by continually bringing this up. Suck it up and move on for the greater good. That was the “helpful” counsel received. With those words, I was forced to go on my way. I slipped on my mask, too heavy to bear.

The pain hurt.

But to not be taken seriously, that was what killed me.

There are three things that prompted my short story above:

  • Current world events surrounding COVID-19 restrictions and blindspots.
  • A scripture passage I read in Jeremiah.
  • About a dozen people I’ve talked to who’ve suffered quietly for way too long, unheard and silenced.

A few years ago, I spoke to a woman who had been a victim of sexual abuse throughout her childhood. As we talked it became clear that she had amazingly moved past the tragedy and even forgiven her perpetrator. However, there was still so much anger she felt towards her past church and certain family members that I was surprised to see, considering her ability to forgive this other man.

When I asked her about why she thought that she had been able to forgive this man who did unspeakable things to her, but couldn’t forgive the people who had done nothing, this was her response:

In the world we come to expect bad things from bad people. It’s just broken like that. But when good people, people you love and trust, stand by and let evil happen – that can completely ruin you forever.”

When good people are indifferent to evil, the world loses hope.

We seem to understand mental health today better than ever before. And yet never before has our world been so indifferent and unsympathetic to this REAL pain of loneliness many are facing. These stories are going unheard in the media’s push to focus on COVID-19.

Never before have we tried so valiantly to brush it aside. The mental health crisis and current loneliness people are feeling right now are real issues. IMPORTANT ISSUES. Issues, that if not addressed, may become fatal without us even noticing it.

Yet, I sometimes wonder if our world has forgotten this. In our struggle to “stay alive” and keep as many vulnerable people safe from Covid-19 as possible, we’ve denied ourselves of a human NEED: social interaction.

The anger and frustration many people are feeling isn’t just from being “entitled, selfish humans” but a direct result of denying themselves of a basic human need when they could not see any difference being made.

We shut down everything for months. We were told it was to be temporary, to “flatten the curve”.

And we did.

The curve not only flattened, it plummeted. In fact for a whole month in my area there were “zero” cases. That was after four months of shut down.

But life can’t stay shut down forever. We know this, don’t we??

Do we?

Fast forward eight months later, I rarely see anyone out and about without a mask anymore. Church isn’t even church, we stick to our own family and seem miles away from anyone else. Yet cases continue to rise and one begins to wonder: Are all our efforts even doing anything?

Those who’ve lived in isolation, continually glued to their screens are still blaming it all on “careless” people, becoming hard and judgemental. Reporting neighbours with visitors. Harshly judging others without hearing the story behind these gatherings.

Can we consider this for a second… That not since World War II have people been so willing to call in their neighbours for having company over?

Who are we becoming? What are we doing?

I was all on board with closing down businesses and restaurants back in spring, willingly going along with the plan to “flatten the curve.” Orders to shut down gatherings and religious ceremonies were obeyed wholeheartedly. Closing schools for “three weeks” which turned into “three months” which morphed into summer vacation, we all agreed and followed – without question.

Even with wearing masks inside buildings, most people obeyed, though some did question the usefulness of them. We listened because we could see the heart behind this and knew it was the government doing their best to take steps to not overwhelm our healthcare system.

These were important things.

But calling on citizens to tell on their neighbours for having people down? That is a line I am unwilling to cross.

This is a call from the government that is absolutely alarming to me, one that we should all take a serious look at. If we are indeed, so “concerned”, Why not ask our neighbors about the reason for their gathering? Why not send a text?

Because those telling on others are cowards.

They’re cowards! It’s easy to anonymously “call-in” and tell. But to have an awkward conversation to get the full story, that’s hard! It takes effort.

We have equated normal social interaction, with willingly bringing harm on those around us and it cannot be treated the same.

If a person meets with a friend to encourage them and unknowingly passes on Covid… and say, this friend dies as a result, are we seriously equating that with murder?

Most would say absolutely not!

Yet the government of Manitoba is coming out with a commercial that is saying just that. They have taken a man’s real life story and exploited him to spread a message of fear. He lived a normal life and as a result had a loved one die of COVID-19 and they are making an advertisement out of it.

This young man was NOT responsible for the death of his grandmother.

COVID-19 was.

Viruses are out of our control. We have never been able to control a virus before and this is the first our world has literally believed we could outsmart a virus.

This illusion of control is killing us! It’s ruining us. It’s tearing apart families and neighbors.

“They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” Jeremiah 6:14

We have some very lonely people and some very serious wounds we are facing. It’s time we address them instead of shaming people and ignoring their needs. I believe it’s only a matter of time with all the pent up anger and division before we may face riots and civil war that will look much worse than any virus.

Living behind plexiglass barriers, masks and meeting on FaceTime chats for a year isn’t normal.

Let’s not try to pretend as if it is.


15 thoughts on “A Serious Wound

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. Your post touches on many things that have been on my mind recently. While work for me hasn’t changed, church has. It feels totally different. You addressed the subject of mental health. Mine has definitely been affected, but for reasons that are different from what you shared although prompted by all this in the Spring. However, the thing that hit me hardest in your post was the quote from the lady who experienced abuse. Too many good people are quiet. Thanks for your level of authenticity here! It is needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Matthew! going to church today was difficult for me. I cried for most of the worship, some of it was happy tears, but a lot of it was mourning the fact that I probably won’t be able to go to a service for a long time as our area is going into code red tomorrow. 😔
      Thanks for being real about your struggles with mental health as well. What has affected you the most in this season?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A ton of past memories have hit, and unresolved hurt has risen to the top. I’m also dealing with increased panic attacks. The isolation has left me alone with my thoughts a little too much. The lack of personal interaction is hurting a lot of people.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. America is much the same right now, sadly. I have yet to see a commercial like that here, thankfully, but there is definitely that overall attitude. We are extremely blessed in our little town at this point. Our cases have been few and our schools remain in person-with adaptations, of course. There was bitter division, however, prior to reopening this fall and a dismaying lack of consideration for the emotional welfare of our students-including several with special needs craving some sort of contact beyond a screen. And our local elderly population and nursing home residents-formerly used to visits from family, youth groups, and churches-express heartwrenching loneliness and call their rooms “cells”. I hurt for those who may be surviving in this but not experiencing any of the reasons why we live. I pray they can feel God’s presence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to hear that your area is doing well! Ours was for so long, so I am grateful for the season of freedom we had. I also hurt for the elderly. What an incredibly helpless time we are living in. 😢
      I do think that our prayers go far though! As do phone calls and little notes. I pray that we will soon be past this!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My dad said that it is like how it used to be with leprosy. What’s weird is that this virus doesn’t kill everyone who gets it but people are acting like it does. In the States people won’t tell anyone They have it because they are afraid that they will be shunned. What the heck?! It’s a virus that’s death rate has dropped immensely — but soon the state departments of health will change those stats so we can’t see how true that is. They rule by fear and by they I mean the media. They are in charge. Not the government. Oh no – because they live in fear of the media machine as well. The media machine can end them with just one story so do what they say, right? It’s insane and I’m tired of it and not listening anymore – if they lockdown here I’m not locking myself inside. Let them come for me – I don’t even care anymore

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The logic behind it all is crazy to me. It is simple not sustainable.
        Enjoy the freedoms you have while you can! The little blessings, like having someone over for coffee, mean more to me right now than ever, for who knows when they will be taken away too?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Heather, This is so on point and it says so many things I have been thinking! Can I share it on Facebook? Or do you prefer not to have these shared on social media?


    Vanessa Bergen


    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been sad about the church, too. I stopped going. Not that stopping is helping me, but the grief over what once was, and what the government has turned our church gathering into, is too heartbreaking.

    And I keep feeling like I’ll turn around one day and there’ll be a Storm Trooper there to arrest me for not following all the government health orders to their liking. Grrr…. The world is insane!

    Thanks for writing this, Heather. I’m passing it on. 🙂


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