Better Than I: On Pandemics and the Providence of God
This post has been a really difficult post to write. Not even for the reasons you’d expect. I haven’t lost my job (my dad and sister haven’t either). None of us are sick (yet). I’m able to work from home (though that is in a house that constantly has 10-12 people running through my work corner). Overall, I can’t complain.
I’ve rewritten this post 5-6 times now and I’m still not 100% sure what it is I’m supposed to be saying.
Because seriously, what do you write when the world is at a standstill? What do you write when thousands of people are jobless and wondering how they’re going to pay for the things their families need? What do you write when it seems like everyone is wondering if this pandemic is a chastisement for sins (especially those inside the Church) or the beginning of the end?
I could detail how to stay spiritually active. I could write about how to have a semi-normal Holy Week. I could focus on the upcoming Triduum like I have on my blog in years past. I could give you all the little ways we can make a difference when we’re all so isolated. There are lots of different ways I could tackle this.
Spoiler alert: for the last several weeks, I’ve tried. And the only thing that keeps coming to me is the idea that I am where I am because this is where God has allowed me to be.
Maybe this is the end times. Maybe this is a chastisement. Maybe this is just a warning, one more effort to bring humanity back from the brink. At this point, it doesn’t matter. This is where God has allowed me to be and no matter where I am, I’m never beyond His reach. No matter how bad things look, God hasn’t forgotten or abandoned me.
Which is a nice and comforting thought. But it goes deeper than that. To quote EWTN foundress, Mother Mary Angelica:
“Before time began, God chose each one of us and this choice was deliberate. God saw all the possible human beings He might have created throughout the history of the world. Out of the possible billions of human beings that might have existed in God’s mind – His Eye rested on each one of us and then stopped looking, and said, ‘You shall be.”
We have been chosen. Since the beginning, God has envisioned us. And of all times in human history to place us, God chose right now. In the middle of massive scandals in the Church. In a time when the Church seems to be increasingly divided between liberals and traditionalists (to say nothing of those in the middle trying desperately not to lose their sanity). And just to address the elephant in the room: smack dab in the middle of a pandemic.
What does that mean?
I think it’ll mean something different to everyone. For me, I think it means writing this. Reminding people and especially myself that whether we’re in the end times or a chastisement, God hasn’t abandoned us. Our Maker didn’t drop us in a random patch of history. God chose us specifically for this time. Knowing the choices we would make. Knowing the situations we would face. Knowing our gifts and knowing our weaknesses. Knowing, as only God can, that this was where we could be the best reflection of His Love.
To me, that’s straight up terrifying. Because I don’t know what that means for me. Just on a very basic, low level note, I went through 5-6 different ideas before I realized this *seemed* to be what He wanted me to write about. In the grand scheme of things, I have no idea why I was chosen for this moment.
But maybe I’m not supposed to. Maybe all I’m supposed to know is that God has a reason. Maybe right now, all God wants is for me to take His hand and follow and trust that that’s enough.
I’m going to end this with a snippet from one of my favorite songs. It’s from the movie Joseph: King of Dreams and if you haven’t heard it, I strongly recommend you listen to it. No matter what mood I’m in, it always seems to speak to me.
Better Than I
If this has been a test, I cannot see the reason.
But maybe knowing I don't know is part of getting through.
I try to do what's best and faith has made it easy To see the best thing I can do is put my trust in You.
For You know better than I. You know the way. I've let go the need to know why.
I’ll take what answers You supply. For You know better than I.
I hope you have a blessed Triduum and a joyful Easter.
Noelle M. is a cradle Catholic with a love for adoration and all things football (Roll Tide). She spends her days immersed in stories and air conditioning in an effort to survive the 9 month summer of the Deep South (so far, so good). A romantic at heart, she can occasionally (always) be coaxed into ballroom dancing. For more of Noelle M., visit her blog, https://beingevanescent.wordpress.com/ or email her at email@example.com.