Emotions are Gifts from God

Lenten Reflection, Friday, March 5

By: Allison Dunaway

Last March, I was forced to press “pause” on my frantic schedule. I was suddenly free from many of the obligations taking up space on my calendar and in my life. It was like walking from a busy, noisy city street into the quiet calm of a library. Thoughts I’d been too busy to fully develop and emotions I’d been too distracted to deeply experience rushed into this unfamiliar quiet. It’s all been rather unsettling!

I’ve been left speechless with emotion after experiencing the commonplace things that connect us to each other, such as gathering for outdoor worship, seeing my kids’ smiles, and listening to music. I’ve become even more urgently and painfully aware of poverty, neglect, and systemic racism. In “Life Before COVID,” I was empathetic, but admittedly somewhat detached, to these injustices. In the stillness of quarantine, there was nothing to buffer me from them.

Our emotions are not only what make us human, they are gifts from God that drive us to action. They sharpen our focus and provide urgency in our fight against hunger, poverty, and injustice. They stir in us a desire to be together and to develop caring and nurturing relationships. I will therefore give thanks for the unexpected tears and moments of deep contemplation I’ve experienced in the last year. With God’s help, I will channel those emotions into the good work of bringing God’s kingdom a little bit closer to earth.

Allison reminds us that our emotions are gifts from God. Why do you think God has given us our emotions? How are they gifts?