By Sadie Hess
We will tell our grandchildren about 2020. This has been a decade of events in a year. We have experienced a pandemic, financial upheaval, civil unrest….and it is only June! So many difficulties and trials and feelings. When we chose our theme for the year, 2020 Vision, we had no idea what a profound theme it would be for this year. We need to see each other more now than ever. No one should be hidden or sequestered or lost. We need to see the struggle, but we also need to see the hope. Let me share some stories about what I have been seeing in the last few months.
I watched two individuals who work for us battle to get married in this season. Two different women in age and place in life with the same battle: to traverse the circumstances and marry their chosen one. I loved watching love prevail against the elements. They had difficulty getting marriage certificates, had to cancel lovely weddings, had trouble finding housing in the uncertainty, but both couples figured out a way to make their day stand up against the odds and make the day their own. I watched the mêlée and I celebrated the love.
I saw clients, staff and families struggle with a new reality where we couldn’t be together. Covid has become a heavy term with a heavier weight of isolation. I watched one of my managers locked in her apartment for over 3 months. She lives alone and has health issues, so she couldn’t even go out to do her own shopping. As we recently spoke and I asked her what she found in this season, she found rest. There were so many things she lost: time with friends, fresh air, her birthday celebration. She pointed to one beautiful, precious thing she found. I saw both the tussle and the prize.
I beheld the senseless murder of George Floyd. There were tears and anger and pain etched on my staff’s face as they shared their stories of racism and bigotry. I read texts and emails shared between two men of different skin tones, but with the same heart and faith in mankind. They thanked each other and said that there should be more men in the world who want to see injustice and inequality end and find a world of hope and love. I beheld the agony of the moment while tasting the hope of reconciliation.
I hope my Vision truly gets clearer in 2020. I hope we see all people in all situations and feel compassion. I await a whole new world where we see hearts, experience love, help neighbors. May 2020 be the year where history is made—not for isolation, loss and death; but for unity, life and understanding—that is truly a 2020 Vision.