My children cannot remember life before their great-grandfather lived next door. They love him and hold him dear. They see how hard it is to be 90 years old, and how much the interactions he has with his family sustain him.

The kids and I have had to have several conversations about THE obvious topic. I told them that we could either carry on as normal (we’re already hand washing fanatics️) or we could take additional precautions recommended by trusted authorities to keep people like their great-grandfather even more safe.

The kids didn’t hesitate. They wanted to make the sacrifices. Whereas I have literally wrung my hands over every decision, they have followed these decisions happily.

When I hear people say a death toll is “just” x amount, or hear people get worked up about having to cancel plans or the effect this has on the economy when there’s only a small part of the population at risk, part of me really, really gets it.

But then another part of me increasingly thinks about how flippant we can be about the loss of human life, especially when it seems like “just” a small statistic. I think about how often our choices of convenience, commerce or even conviction lead to other humans in our community and the world being isolated, disenfranchised or put in danger. And how many of us who subscribe to the Christian faith are so dang afraid to take on losses for the sake of people we may never personally know.

We should never resign ourselves to fear or hysteria, but why are humble choices and sacrifices met with such conflict and internal debate? I include myself in this category, friends. These days are humbling me.

What lessons could be learned over the next few months? Could we come out of all this humbled, but strengthened in our will to give for the sake of others? Could we accept that we do not personally have the workings of society all figured out?

I would like to give as readily as my children wanted to give over these past days. I’m not there yet. Maybe one day. 

Lauren Cunningham lives in Louisa County. This is reprinted with her permission.

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