For those in the military these three little letters are the most fearful. KIA is certain. There is closure. Pain and questions but a finality that comes with knowing. MIA is full of uncertainty, vague “what ifs” and imaginations that run quickly to the darkest places. It is dread and hopelessness. It is holding your breath and not knowing how you can keep breathing. It is wondering how the world keeps revolving and how others can go on with their seemingly happy little lives. It is grief wrapped in hope and tied with exhaustion.
It has been 2 years since I posted. I doubt anyone noticed. It’s not like I ever built a platform with followers who waited for my brilliant insights on life and the meaning it may hold. I write today as I always have. First, so my thoughts will form some kind of order and second, so those thoughts can be set free to generate thoughts in anyone who trips over this obscure corner of the internet.
The world has been more than a little crazy the last 2 years. What started as 2 weeks to flatten the curve, a noble if naïve, attempt at social responsibility and sacrifice, turned into months of isolation, fear, depression, and virtue signaling. Personal choices became common property and herd mentality spread faster than head immunity would ever manage. People got sick. Some got better and some were lost. The grief and emotions touch everyone. Life as we knew it was gone and it’s not coming back. It was killed in action and inaction.
But there are still the MIA. They are living in fear and haven’t taken off the masks. Some are so weighed down by the isolation that hopelessness has become their only companion. There are children who have never known a normal day in the classroom. There are millions of high school and college students who have no sense of closure or accomplishment because the ceremony closing one chapter and opening the next was abruptly deemed dangerous to the health of their community. There are people who are grieving the losses of loved ones they could not comfort in their final hours because someone else decided it was best for them to be kept away. They are holding back from fully entering life again. They are missing. They maybe back at work or finally in classrooms. You see them in the grocery store, hesitant and colorless. They move with a heaviness that comes from the spirit and weighs on the heart.
As the world and our country try to recover from a global crisis, hope is still under attack. Inflation, shortages and wars hammer at the glimmers of hope crushing them as they try to break through.
You may be wondering where I’m going with this and why after 2 years of silence I would choose to restart with such a heavy post. No, bright announcement that the site has been redesigned and the “brand” relaunched. In reality, no one cares if a site is redesigned except those of us who get very vocal every time Facebook is rearraigned. No one notices the silence, just the noise when it gets to be unbearable.
But the truth is, this is where every renaissance starts. There is an old saying that “hard time produce strong men, strong men produce good times, good times produce weak men, weak men produce hard times”. I believe we are facing hard times ahead. There was an article in The New Yorker in July of 2020 that pointed out the growth in society that came after The Black Death Plague. It was called The Renaissance. Out of the Dark Ages came the Age of Enlightenment.
But for those who are MIA, there must be a rescue mission. Those who care about restoring them to their lives and loved ones have to be willing to risk their own well being, leave their comfort and seek out the lost. Some are hard to find. They have been lost and wandering in the fog of fear so long they can’t see a way out. Be a light that leads them home. Some are trapped in a prison of their own making, find a key to set the captives free. Each and every one of them need hope.
I need hope. I am one of the MIA. I go to work and church. My book club meets every month and I see my grandsons most weeks. The movies and dinners out have resumed. Not concerts yet as they still have restrictions I can’t meet. But the grayness of life, the constant struggle not to get ahead but to just maintain, to keep lifting others while I feel myself sinking…to be missing from my own life. Looking in the mirror, I don’t recognize myself anymore. I need a personal renaissance now more than I ever have. I need to come out of the Dark Ages and into the Light. I need the energy of invention and creativity, the strength of life determined to go on not in spite of hard times but because of them.
So, I’m just going to quietly leave this here. Most rescue missions for MIA’s never make headlines. In fact, covert, quiet operations is how they are most successful. Those with the skills go after those in need of rescue. If you are MIA in your own life, I will be here. Maybe in a fog of my own, but still reaching out for those who are seeking. We will find out way of the darkness. We will find our way into the light. We will find our way home.
“To seek and to save that which was lost…”