Breaking Through and Moving Back to Center

The combination of the feelings of isolation, disillusionment, and fear ate my usually resilient heart for breakfast.  I am speaking about going through Covid-19, the social justice issues, and national political turmoil, simultaneously. I felt like I was turned around, shut down, closed out, and abandoned.  These traumatic events continued for quite an extended period of time.  I struggled to find or connect with my center. I was not feeling one with all humankind except in facing the scourge of the pandemic.  Watching the death toll climb was heartbreaking.  I was not feeling grounded in the love of God. If I were being honest, I would own the sense of helplessness that dogged my soul.  I was caught up in my quest for survival and I wished the same for all. 

Trust in the arch of the moral universe for me is slow in returning. I could not understand how political ideology kept people away from a cure for a life threating disease when their leaders were taking it.  I could not comprehend how social strata kept some people on the front lines providing critical support for the public while being under protected and under compensated.  When care givers and first responders became overwhelmed and had to plead for support, I was deeply disappointed.  I couldn’t understand why the poor got less testing and medical support.  I kept my eye on the sharing of vaccines worldwide and the role of this nation in doing so.

Yet for some reason I was able to intuit that healing from this catastrophe was going to be a slow but certain process.  I am happy to see that healing is very much underway.  I will continue to turn to my faith traditions for hope and a sense of agency.  I will return to my faith community and enjoy a sense of belonging.  I will rejoin the struggle with those for whom the pursuit of justice is a lifelong commitment.

Resilience is yet unfolding, and I will live in peace, deep within my spirit.

James E. McJunkin Jr.

Regional Executive Pastor