This is the response I’ve heard a few times lately when folks are asked the ubiquitous ‘how are you?’
It’s an honest response – we’re at that time of year where the skies are greyer, the daylight is shorter, the weather cooler. This year, we’re adding the weariness of a pandemic growing longer and the stresses of exposure sites creeping closer.
Things could be worse; things could be better - so we are okay… ish.
It’s the “ish” that catches me today – because it speaks of truth. With it, we are admitting that some days/hours/minutes are good, and others not-so-good. That our emotions seem to move like waves on the sea, or sunbeams through the clouds.
It’s in the “ish” that we are authentically sharing of ourselves with the other, which demonstrates a deep trust and relationship.
It is this “ish” that embraces the mystery of God: for into this “ish” we are invited to hear the assurance from Jesus that we are not in this alone. And that is the good news, the hopeful news, the sustaining news.
Because the “ish” reminds us that God never said our faith would make our lives perfect; but that it would mean we are never alone. God is with us, we are promised, “even to the end of the age” (Mt 28.20). That “age” is in fact every age – the age of grey days, the days of sorrow, the days of joy, the days of COVID, the days of happiness – God is with us through it all.
And so in the “ish” we dwell in the comfort of connecting with the God who journeys with us – always – the same way we welcome the warm time spent chatting with a heart-friend over a cup of tea.
So it’s okay to be okay-ish. For that is where God is waiting for us, arms extended in holy welcome.
“God hugs you. You are encircled by the arms of the mystery of God.” ~Hildegard of Bingen