Christopher Drinkard is a photographer based out of Minnesota, where he resides with his wife and two children. His work includes wedding and lifestyle photography but he also finds great passion in documenting the world around him through street photography. When he is not with family or busy with a camera, Christopher can be found at his church where he has served as the Worship Leader since 2013. He also loves frequenting local coffee shops, creating music, and teaching. You can see some of his work on Instagram @christopherdrinkardphoto.
As the job losses mounted, the number of tithes and offerings coming in each week dropped precipitously. Church budgets bled red ink and congregations began laying off staff and selling property in order to keep the lights on. But that was back in 2008 during the Great Recession.
During this global pandemic, we’ve all had to bear overwhelming stress and devastating losses while also being cut off from the people, activities, and places that bring us joy and help us cope with distress in the day to day.
While the media reports on and profits from interpersonal racist incidents that result from exogenous shocks, minor feelings and racial melancholia encompass the daily, interminable despondence of racism.
What tempts Christians to offer platitudes or unfounded reassurances? It is the same temptation that the loud, white, male pastors we see in the media are currently succumbing to during the coronavirus pandemic. It is the temptation to avoid the reality of suffering. And it stems from a gross misunderstanding of what faith in Jesus actually means.
I am reminded that a world anew, already in motion, is not a one-time transformation, but rather, enacted by living into an ethics that ... is part of an ongoing struggle for liberation, healing, and right relationship across ecosystems and injustices.
The point of a public health crisis is that, like the wound of history, we are forced to pay attention to our bodies and what they feel. Doing so may save our lives as well as those around us.
COVID-19 patients are dying alone. They may die before their family members have had a chance to phone in or visit them. Families are no longer permitted to stay inside the room to watch over them or stay overnight with them, being physically present as they transition out of this life.
While I hope for the pandemic to end and for less lives to be put in danger, I also hope that the experience of quarantine, which has forcibly and suddenly shrunken our individual and collective freedoms and capacities, can be an opportunity for able-bodied folks to think about how this is, has always been, and will always be the “normal” that people with disabilities must live with.
This novel coronavirus and the continuing acts of racism don’t mark the first time nor the last time that our facade of flourishing will be disrupted by the reality of creation’s disintegration.
Mourning practices are generations-old traditions of solidarity, honoring other family members, carrying out closely-held duties, and caring for our own spiritual wellness. If our instinct is to reject the practices so important to our neighbors, we will leave unaddressed pain to fester, decomposing our interdependence and trust.