Today’s daily Bible verse from is:

“The Lord your God is with you. He is a hero who saves you. He happily rejoices over you, renews you with his love, and celebrates you with shouts of joy.” Zephaniah 3:17 (God’s Word translation)

Is there any worse grievance than self-pity?

Self-pity removes God from my life and replaces it with my own self-interests. I become a sponge always absorbing, never giving, and never being satisfied. There is not anything lovely or generous about self-pity, is there?

Stealing Joy

Over the last several weeks during this pandemic, anxiety and depression have taken hold for many people. reported on May 12, 2020 that Michigan is the #1 state for tweets about depression and anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic. You can count me as one of them. Michigan seems often to be one of the states to be hit hardest in any crisis. Michigan was just beginning to see evidence of rebounding from the last crisis in 2008 except for Flint’s continuing water debacle.

Yet here we are again, shoulder-to-shoulder with other states trying to determine how to care for the sick, dying, starving, the unemployed, and how-to bail out the failing businesses all the while social distancing from each other. Even supplying the most critical needs of personal protection equipment, masks, gloves, and ventilators has become a political chess match which plays with the lives of the COVID-infected and the ones desperately trying to keep them alive, including themselves.

During all this social distancing, political and responsibility distancing from those whose offices are on Pennsylvania Avenue down to those affected on Main Street, the essential workers continue going to work each day, many for long, grueling, emotionally draining hours. The doctors, nurses, hospital administration and staff, and the emergency first-responders have a crushing weight of responsibility. Their enduring resiliency in the eye of this pandemic storm is nothing short of amazing.

The Blue Angels

The United States Navy Blue Angels have been flying over major cities across the country in honor of our health care workers and essential personnel. In my self-pity of seeing on the various media outlets the many who are suffering, I lashed out not once, but twice, about the deficiencies of not only protecting our health care workers, the unemployed unable to feed their families, and others like my son who were furloughed over 6 weeks and still waiting to receive unemployment benefits, and the deficiency list goes on and on.

Why are we doing flyovers, I wailed, when our federal government is not even taking responsibility and protecting the health care workers with necessary equipment and supplies? I wondered what the people sitting for hours in their cars in food lines were thinking as the Blue Angels flew overhead.

Not everyone agreed with me.

I stole joy.

In my anxiety and in my self-pity politicizing an act of gratitude about the ineptitude of our federal government’s response to the pandemic, I wrongly stole the joy of those who gratefully looked upon this act by the Blue Angels of showing the nation’s appreciation to our healthcare workers and essential personnel.

I am profoundly sorry.

I love our military. I am grateful for their protection and sacrifice. In ordinary times, I would have been outside too marveling at the Blue Angels with their daring formation.

I love our healthcare workers and the essential personnel who in this pandemic have kept this country going alongside the conscientious governors like my own Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, who have led by keeping our physical lives in the forefront based on scientific facts so that our economic and social lives could return to normal sooner rather than later.

There is nothing worse than self-pity. I stole someone’s joy and I am profoundly sorry. I am ashamed to say that I had forgotten to look down at my wrist bracelet that has written my mantra: “Resist Reaction Reason Rules.” What is reasonable?

What was reasonable is to think of another’s joy in this time of high anxiety and depression who has offered up much more than I have as I stay safely in my home. I have much to be grateful for – my family is healthy. And I am grateful for those who knew I was anxious and privately messaged me. We can do and say unlikely things when we are in an anxious state of mind and I am grateful for the grace shown to me.

Showing grace is the loveliest and generous thing one can do.

Pass it on, won’t you? I know I will.


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