2020. What a year you've turned out to be. I know that a lot of people are giving up on you right now, and I can even understand why, but I won't. I refuse to. I won't say that you haven't surprised me, hurt me even, but I won't give up on you because I know a man who brings beauty for ashes and joy for sadness and I can see that He is doing something in the midst of you.
I remember when you first arrived, full of promise and opportunity. Like many others, I'd decided that you were going to be my year. You were the prophecy year - the "year of vision", the "year of perfection", "year of the grind", "year of abundance" and more. I just knew that you would be all of those things for me and you are still all of those things, although you may not look it.
You started with a bang - first with fireworks, then flames. An outbreak of forest fires left Australia devastated, then the corona virus appeared in China and that was just the beginning. In your first month alone, we were met with devastation, disease and death. But in the midst of it all, we also something that I don't believe that we have seen for a long time.
In a world full of busyness and busy-bodies, you caused us to stare life and death in the face and weigh up what was really important in their intersection. Through pain, you birthed compassion, generosity and action. You made it so that we didn't just love with words and continue scrolling through socials, you drew us to action.
By March, COVID-19 had taken its claim over China, Italy, America and the UK. Streets became deserted, houses became our 24-hr residence and animals we hadn't seen in years came out to play.
At first, the virus brought out the worst in people, whether it be fights over simple amenities, carts being stolen or mutterings under-breath as you waited in lines longer than a 22-year old's lashes.
People were fearful, frustrated and blindsided by the rapid movement of life in a direction that no one could've prepared for. It was hard. It was tiring and for many it was scary. But in the midst of chaos, once again there was an undercurrent of something beautiful - a unified humanity. As you took away the status of high-rise offices and highlight-reel Instagram stories, you restored our common ground.
We were all weathering the same storm and helping each other along the way.
People worshipped together on their balconies in Italy, started doing P.E. lessons with Joe in their living rooms and celebrities donated face masks to hospitals. More than that, we developed an appreciation for essential workers - healthcare workers, community caretakers, delivery drivers and cashier clerks - who put their lives on the line daily and kept society going as normal as possible.
Although a storm of loss, chaos and fear raged on, the eye of it held beauty. It held everything that we usually take for granted. And while there has been much wreckage, this storm has also given us so many gifts and I won't let them go unnoticed.
Time. Family. Technology. Laughter. Peace. Rest. Solitude. Understanding. New skills. And the list goes on.
You've even started to add justice to the list and we're here for it!
You have been amazing in the most surprising ways.
It's undeniable that you have been a difficult year so far but upon further inspection, you have also been a beautiful one. While you brought events that we never expected, you also brought results that we couldn't have imagined. It's safe to say that you weren't what we had planned for, but you are everything that we'd prayed for. So, I say thank you for showing us the importance of life again, the fragility of it and the importance of humanity, but I hope that you go easy on us for the next 6 months!
I haven't given up on you yet and I still believe that you can be my year.