Dear neighbor,

I love you. We are in this lifeboat together, you and I. We suffer together.

If there were only three packages of toilet paper left on the store shelves, I promise I’d just take one. So you can stock up.

I know you’re tired of washing your hands til they bleed. I am, too.

I know you’re scared, confused and fatigued by this threat of this pandemic. I am, too.

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I know you’re watching your daily life become interrupted and you’re maybe annoyed but trying to accommodate with gratitude. I am, too.

I know you’re tired of all the updates, information and frenzy, but can’t help but tune in. I am, too.

I know you want to steer away from the temptation to re-share just one more post about yet another development because if you can just connect with someone, inform them, find answers or even just vent, maybe it will help. I am, too.

I know you’re frustrated with your peers’ strong opinions or all-knowing perspectives shared on social media that conflict with what you know in your heart, or the facts you are taking the time to learn or even maybe good old fashion common sense? I am too.

We are in this lifeboat together. We suffer together. I love you, neighbor. 

Not because we share the same views. Or because we respond similarly to crisis. I love you because we are commanded by God to love each other. You might roll your eyes now, but I believe we need such a commandment, as we aren’t strong enough to command ourselves to do so.

And we will not survive THIS, or anything else, without loving one another.

I love you, neighbor. So I don’t want to spend our days in banter over the details of what qualifies a pandemic or why we put our faith and trust in media. Instead, I’d like to offer, “Can we pray together?”

I love you, neighbor, and I don’t want either of us to believe we have the power to start this flu or end it. That is an enormous burden to carry, and neither of us have that kind of power.

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I love you, neighbor, enough to want you to see this amazing world around us. Those pillowy clouds, hand-carved and placed into the blue heavens above us, far enough outside our reach to be a dream, but clear enough in our sight to ensure it’s real. And that greatness is guarding us. We don’t make this greatness, but we are privileged to see it. See the promise of something more.

I love you, neighbor, and I want you to know that this world has seen much pain, much calamity and much disaster, far worse than what we are seeing now. Yet, here we still stand. Why do you think?

I love you, neighbor, so I will agree with you that we must wash our hands at every turn. We might have to keep our kids home for awhile. We might have to rearrange our schedules. We might feel as though we don’t get a break for a bit. We might have to feel uneasy for a bit. We might even allow ourselves to start feeding our fear.

But might I humbly suggest we don’t stay there for too long?

Fear is hungry and loves to be fed. Please do not give opportunities for darkness to take over. While we aren’t strong enough to make this thing or take this thing. We are strong enough to shed light on this thing. To share light on one another. Let prayer fill in for panic. 

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Stock your home as you see fit for your family but leave something behind for someone else. Help another. Ease someone’s mind. Smile reassuringly for your kids as their sports are canceled, shrugging your shoulders and reminding them that we now have more time to be together. I say all this with love and humility, neighbor, as these lessons are as hard embraced for myself as they might be for you.

We are in this lifeboat together. We suffer together. I love you, neighbor.

And even though there was no toilet paper left on the shelves, forcing me to buy commercial reams, the size of car tires—I love you, neighbor, and you are welcome to it.

Originally published on the author’s Instagram page

Kelly Hupcey

The Vintage Modern Mom is raising four boys with vintage values in this modern world. Sharing honest stories of encouragement, truth, laughter, and love. With God's grace, muscle and my lips on!