We are in a chaotic world. Our lives do not look the same way they did only a few months ago. Maybe in some aspects of our lives, things are better. However, for many of us, things have been turned upside down and our “normal” has been shaken. Statistics suggest that you or someone you know has directly been affected by either the coronavirus or unemployment. This is not normal.
A few months ago, I would enjoy my commute in traffic each day. It would allow me to listen to the latest podcast or book at 1.5 speed. I would center myself in prayer before I pulled into the parking garage and got my day started. I filled my days with meetings, projects, and breaks to walk to the coffee shop only to wind down on my commute home to be with my family.
Now, I find myself staring at a computer screen most of the day and trying to connect with others over the internet. Have any of you found yourself acting differently in virtual meetings? I never waved goodbye when I left a meeting—until now! I wave goodbye to colleagues and friends until the next time we can virtually meet, missing the normality of being in the office together.
I am part of the statistics. I know people affected by the coronavirus AND unemployment. In fact, I know many, and I’m sure you do too. In some ways, we are all affected by the chaos that has been the last few months. It is horrible that so many have been let go during this season, but for those of us that have remained in jobs after our friends have been removed from their positions, it has also been difficult to navigate. How do you support everyone? How can you allow for grieving to happen on both sides of this?
Here’s a simple way: care for your people. Whether someone has lost a job or not, suffered from this virus or not, life is not totally normal for anyone right now, and we all need some extra care. But what does it mean to truly care?
We can turn to Scripture and find all sorts of verses telling us to love one another. Over 100 times, the Bible gives us instruction on how to do (or not do) things to “one another.” We are to live in community, surrounded by one another. We cannot live out the “one anothers” until we live with one another. So how do we care for one another, especially in times when we’re socially distant? We can ask. Ask how each other is doing and then truly listen.
John 15:13 says this: “No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends.” Growing up, I read this as heroic and brave—I longed for the opportunity to lay my life down for another, imagining myself fighting off bad guys for my loved ones. In everyday life though, I don’t think that’s what this means. Overall, I think it’s calling us to love one another the way that Jesus loved one another. Yes, He laid down His life for us in the crucifixion and forgave us of our sins—but how did He love in everyday life while He was on earth? The attention was not on Him, but He would often sit and listen and care for those around Him. Follow this model from Jesus and look at those around you. I don’t think you’ll need to search far to find someone hurting.
Here’s a specific way to care. If you’re in a position of leadership at your work, let me push you to care for your staff. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour of your day to check on your team individually. Let them know that they are more important than the projects they’re working on and make them feel valued. In doing so, you might just be doing what John 15:12 says to do; “This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you.” Isn’t it amazing to know that God, the Creator of all the universe and everything in it, cares about us? Why not share that same love with the people we work so closely with? Maybe, just maybe, this will bring a little humanity to the not-so-normal world around us.