i have asked more than one person if they feel as i do – like they are living in an alternate reality.
from the moment i broke both my wrists to now, the smack-dab middle of the pandemic, it has felt that way – like we are in some kind of alternate reality. a reality with different rules. a different set of mores. different judgment. why?
when i used to be a minister of music, way-back-when in florida over 30 years ago, i worked with a wonderfully-southern georgia tech pastor, kirk. we had a long tenure together and implicitly relied on each other. at a distinct point in time, he decided to turn over all the wedding rehearsals to me. i remember the moment of that decision, the moment he sighed, exasperated at the disrespectful lack of regard for simple guidelines.
the rehearsal ahead of time went well. we lined up the wedding party and they walked up the aisle to their chosen music, went through the faked vows and such and then walked back down the aisle. kirk, in his treasured drawl, slowly reiterated the guidelines to them about the next day – their wedding day. the guidelines were common sense: reminders about what to do or not do and how to be sure that this very-important-day would escape judgment by the perspective-of-time years later.
they did not heed his advice.
instead, the groom showed up inebriated, as did the videographer.
the groom stumbled multiple times over his vows, and, literally being held up by the bride, finally punted out, “forever and ever, till we die” in lieu of the more delicate loving words of the standard vow. the videographer vaulted over the stationary communion rail in the front of the sanctuary and sprinted to the back of the church in an effort to beat the wedding party there and film their exit. it was a circus. i wonder how they view all that now, decades later, with judgment-as-it-passes-through-the years. did it stand the test of time? i wonder if they ask, ‘why?’
we are living this now.
we have a choice.
to decide to prevail by the pandemic safety guidelines and be able to look back with clear consciences, knowing we did all we could to heed advice, or to throw caution to the wind and see what happens.
looking around, watching as people react and push back against this very-important-time, i suspect judgment will not be on our side; it will not stand the test of time.
and years from now, we will ask – why?