Is the human person all physical? No. Among other else, we are also emotional, mental, and spiritual. Hence, if our approach to life is only that which satisfies the body we are then missing a lot of caboodles in our existence. In fact and in truth, we are already doomed. We must not settle one-sidedly. Indeed, we heal as one. But, we shall all be healed being one, being whole – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Just like a tree, we are not all fruits, we are also leaves, branches, flowers, roots, and stems. As in a corporate setting, everybody cannot just be focusing on sales or marketing, somebody should also be in charge of the human resource, an office for accounting and finance, a group for production, a department for research and development, etc. In our outside world, we say, we are all in this together. Equally, deep within us, we should also say, “my entire person is in all this together… in one piece”.
Be that as it may, the bottom line is we are altogether undergoing an onerous kind of test in our generation. True enough, in a rather peculiar manner, we do need tests here and now. A point in case is the banner story yesterday in our very Palawan News on the shift of the status of the province from ECQ to GCQ. There must be more to that than what meets the eye. Admittedly, it should not be taken as a reason to be celebratory about, not just yet. On the contrary, it behooves us to be wary. Why? Because he has been eased without the necessary testing yet. Said the report, “the DOH pointed out that there has yet to be mass testing in the province crucial to fighting the virus.” But while we are at it, we must remain not to be complacent – observe the usual precautionary measures, maintain proper hygiene, and eventually conduct the tests. Since testing is not yet on the horizon, it is better yet to persist in staying at home and grapple with another kind of test- our test of faith.
Perforce, faith involves the heart, mind, and soul. Moreover, especially to us Filipinos, faith as trust automatically means tiwala sa Diyos at tiwala sa sarili.
Emotionally, we remain in clampdown due to distancing. If the virus is notorious with transmission and infection, we might as well redound with the transmission of affections at home. Bring back the joys within the family. Somebody shared, “… sobrang na-appreciate ko ulit kasama magdamag ang pamilya. Parang bumalik kami sa pagkabata. Tatawagin pa ni mama para kumain na, ikukuwento niya kung paano niluto ung ulam. Tapos napapagkwentuham ulit nung bata pa sila ganito, ganyan ginagawa. Tsaka isang magandang nangayri eh kumpleto ang family sa mass. Hahaha…sabay sabay nanonood sa tv.”
Intellectual does not necessarily mean scholarly. It simply means tamang pag-iisip. Even in crisis, or all the more during crisis, dapat nasa tamang pag-iisip. It has been forecasted that even while quarantine will be lifted, depression will take a toll on people. Currently, in fact, not a few have already been feeling anxious, scared, unmotivated, worried, bored, and even traumatized. In anticipation, stakeholders should also consider laying out a plan for relief and recovery not just for the economy but also for the mental well-being of everyone. Yes, for everyone that is. It should go without saying that mental depression is not only asymptomatic; it is also obscure and usually (unfortunately), unspoken of. Else, we should never give up.
Spiritually speaking, our fears are actually tied to things that we think will be taken away from us. We consider this is deprivation, if not suffering. Our eyes are helplessly fixed on what would be eliminated from our system. Hence, we worry and get depressed. But then, this is the real and the actual test. Are we learning to let go yet? The classic picture of testing is that of fire. Our struggles put us into the fire. Wherefore, we must be aware that just as silver and gold are refined in the furnace (Psalm 12), so must Christians be are tested by trials (1 Peter 1:7). All the same, being tested is never sadistic nor masochistic. It does not exist for its own sake. Rather, “. . . for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”(James 1:3) Ginagawa tayong matatag ng pagsubok. Think about those people who were made steadfast by testing – Abraham, Moses, David, Ruth, Naomi, Mary, Elizabeth, Joseph, Peter, Lincoln, Gandhi, Mandela, among others.
From the foregoing, there are two tests at this time- massive testing to flatten the curve and test of faith to keep us afloat. Both, we must.