The Best and Worst of Times

focus hope wholeness Nov 06, 2020



Here we are, the first week of November 2020, and we have broken two all-time highs: 

  • more American's voted in this Presidential election than ever before in the history of our nation and 
  • COVID19 cases frighteningly hit all-time highs this week, higher than any time since the pandemic began only nine months ago


To say these are challenging times is a gross understatement. I am reminded of the historical novel A Tale of Two Cities (1859), by Charles Dickens.


"It was the best of times; it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…". 


And now, 160 years later, we still facing similar dilemmas. Half of us say it is a season of Light, and half of us say it is a season of Darkness. I say, yes, it is both. It is the best and worst of times, and we are right in the middle of it. 


My life in hospice work has given me perspective, certainly when a cherished loved one dies, it is the worst of times. Bearing witness to the death of a loved one can be painful, heartbreaking, and tragic. It feels like life won't or shouldn’t go on without them. But, when families and friends gather to mourn, tell stories, laugh and cry, it’s possible to feel BOTH happiness and despair almost simultaneously. That is the RICHNESS of living in the wholeness of the human experience.


I believe it is no accident that each of us is here to bear witness to the turmoil our world is experiencing right now. And if we try, we can look for and claim the fullness of it all. When BOTH "the winter of despair and the spring of hope" can exist together, we have accepted our humanness. When we can welcome both joy and sorrow, the joys become more buoyant, and the sorrows become more tolerable. Now is not the time to withdraw and complain. It is time to remember who we are and claim our humanness, our wholeness.


I choose Light and Wisdom and Belief and HOPE even in a season of darkness or despair. What will you choose?




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