When the pandemic first hit, I remember seeing a line somewhere encouraging us to watch for those in our life who drew closer to us at this time, and those who abandoned us or put us aside.
From the "carrying of the cross" view, who is "Simon" and who is "Peter" in our lives right now? Both are making themselves known. Some are helping us and beside us in spirit. Some are denying us and turning away temporarily.
This whole crisis has been very telling for me from that lens. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of people in my life have drawn closer in creative ways like texts, phone calls, Zoom, etc. They have found alternative ways to connect and we are strengthening our relationships as a result. It's a blessing in the midst of a crisis.
But there are those who haven't. Some have pulled away. Some have denied me or pushed me aside for now...for whatever reason. Necessity, stress, fear, their own suffering, what have you.
This time of pandemic clarifies for me the people who want to be a source of support for me through the good, bad and ugly -- and also want me to be a source of support for them.
So watch... who are those who draw closer? Those people are your "Simons" and they will help you carry this cross right now.
And what should you do about the Peters? Well, recognize that they will likely return after all this is over, and be understanding and forgiving in the process even if you are hurt by their absence or abandonment in time of trial. That's what Christ did, and so should we.