Monday, 19 July 2021

Covid-19: my mind at different times today

What if we could take a shower and wash away every trace of this illness. Wouldn't it be great to go back to normal and pretend we never tested positive? We wouldn't have to live in isolation and listen to each other cough in another room.


Our symptoms started late Sunday afternoon, 11 July. We didn't know, though. I mean, I've had sinusitis, a basic cold, and flu this year. On Tuesday, Nick tested positive. On Wednesday, I tested false-negative and on Friday the results came back positive.

My worst day was Thursday. The physical, emotional, and mental experience of knowing we have the virus and the reality of moving through the various phases of the illness brought fear closer to home. Suddenly nothing seemed to matter except following all instructions religiously to get better. 

Everyone that's been through it has their own story to tell. And now, we are just another two of them. Not more, not less. Just sick. Fighting. Unfocused. Praying. Waiting. 


I think the hardest part of it all was seeing Jana risk her own health to take care of us, while maintaining order in the house and working as a lawyer remotely, doing pre-trials online. She remained positive, cheerful, and committed. We ate healthy food. Drank medicine. Steamed. She made jokes and tended to our every need. Doors divided us, but our voices were alive with love.

Today, I have hope. We're okay. We're going to beat this. We're sick. Tired. Out of breath. Coughing. But, we're doing okay and before long we'll be just fine.


During my week of absolute illness and fatigue, my mind wandered along new avenues.

Today, I must be feeling much better because I am writing again. And even saying this, I cannot know for sure whether I am focused or not. What I do remember thinking about is the reality of loss. My mind wandered closer to the shadow of death, not because I believed I was dying. I feared hospitalization for perhaps one long night of difficult breathing. 

It wasn't my death that filled me with absolute sorrow. I was reminded of death. My mother-in-law passed away on 13 April and my cousin's wife on 11 July. Knowing how one memory of death leads on to another, it is quite normal that I thought of my father and my cousin, Nico. I was also reminded of my aunt who died last year. 
Then, I started to fear new losses. I started to consider my mother's age and her state of health. 

Fear reduces me and I do not care for self-reduction. That is why I find it comforting to know we are living “in a day of salvation”​ - a time when God extends a warm invitation to all people to draw close to him and be saved (2 Corinthians 6:2). To be saved does not mean recovery from Covid-19 and continuity of my imperfect life. For me, the difference between life and death is the breath I have to breathe with my imperfect body. This imperfection can lead to illness with imperfect consequences: recovery or death. 

To sit down and pray for life would mean I would have to pray for the healing of imperfection. Some would refer to it as a miracle. I cannot do this because, while I discriminate regularly on an imperfect level, I do not believe in a god of discrimination that allows one imperfect person to heal and another to die. If indeed God shows favour, how then did Christ die for all? 

Quite simply, I believe the imperfection of the body determines life or death. Better for me then, it is to pray for calmness during trials and tribulation. More importantly, I pray for forgiveness of my shortcoming to draw closer to God during the "day of salvation". Salvation means the deliverance of sin and its consequences. Hence, for me, it is more than merely praying to save an imperfect body. It is about praying for endurance to live this imperfect life of mine while aiming for perfection. It is about an imperfect attempt to save an imperfect heart, mind, and soul. In other words: I pray for wisdom and humility to recognize my flaws, and to keep on trying to do better and to be better. Drawing closer to God (James 4:8) does not guarantee imperfect life on earth, but it does determine a future.

As far as life is concerned, no one is perfect or has it perfectly. So, I imagine we have not arrived yet. We are still on our way.


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