How to Live a New Normal in Times of Pandemic & Protests

How to Live a New Normal in Times of Pandemic & Protests

My normal work routine lately has included a series of virtual meetings throughout any given day. This day was different.

Our team at the non-profit I work for, Intentional Faith, had arranged to meet “in-person”– being careful to regard best health practices during COVID-19 by taking advantage of the outdoor seating at a local coffee shop — Just Love Coffee. This would be the first time together with our little team in almost 3 months outside of little squares on a computer screen!

Preparing for this long-awaited gathering brought a mix of happy anticipation as well as …anxiety. As I began thinking over-thinking through all the proper safety measures, I washed my hands multiple times (of course!) and chose a stylish, palm-tree print mask to wear that a friend had made for me.

Somewhere in the mix of the whole process, these words came to mind, “clean hands and a pure heart.” That’s what I needed for today both literally and spiritually …clean hands to stop any spread of the coronavirus and a pure heart to walk out the day in light of God’s heart.

As we gathered at the table, I told a co-worker about my “phrase” for the day — “clean hands and a pure heart” — and he immediately said, “That covers both the coronavirus and the racial issues.”

These are the moments you remember why God created us to live in community. The Spirit will give a thought to one but to another, He’ll give the added notes until the song is complete.

While living out the days filled with pandemic and protests, this short, simple phrase gives wisdom and direction to light the way.

The basic wisdom of good hygiene and clean hands was as practical as any update from the CDC but having a pure heart was just as practical to know how to walk in this season of racial unrest and injustice.

John Piper points out — “Purity of heart is to will one thing, namely, God’s truth and God’s value in everything we do. The aim of the pure heart is to align itself with the truth of God and magnify the worth of God. If you want to be pure in heart, pursue God with utter single-mindedness.”

Hearts overflowing with pure ingredients …no added fillers or fake spiritual facts. No pretense. No prejudice. No bias. Humbly listening. No barriers. Vulnerable and open. Nothing in the way of your view between you and God and how you see others.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.

Matthew 5:8 (NIV)

Pandemics call for clean hands. Racial injustice calls for us to have pure hearts if we’re going to live out the heart of Jesus.

It takes a single-minded focus on the pure ingredients from the pages of recipes in God’s word.

Arrogant opinions and self-promoting platforms contaminate. Humility and love purify.

Adding a little harmony to the melody line …here’s the phrase in the context of the specific song in Psalms.

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
    Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not trust in an idol
    or swear by a false god.

They will receive blessing from the Lord
    and vindication from God their Savior. 

Such is the generation of those who seek him,
    who seek your face, God of Jacob.

from Psalm 24 (NIV)

Last week the phrase that carried me was “Do. Love. Walk.” This week, “clean hands and a pure heart.” Each week …trusting the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct my paths. Join me …trusting the Father to lead us as we walk into this uncharted territory.

Featured Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

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