The last few weeks have been some of the craziest times I have witnessed in my short lifetime. Y2K was crazy when the fear of crashed computers and the possible fall out when we turned our clocks to 2000. 9/11 was another crazy time as we watched what happened after the horrible events in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. This past year in our small town as well as in northern California we experienced devastating fires as they burned through houses, farms, and towns. The south has experienced flooding and tornados the past few months.
Natural disasters and terrorist attacks have a way of pulling people, unifying people around a common cause, of recovering from the devastation. We have witnessed communities coming together to rebuild houses and towns after fires and floods. We have witnessed people caring more for each other after 9/11 and tsunamis.
But the worse comes out of us when we face pandemics like the Coronavirus.
History tells us that when there is a pandemic, we turn inward, we become selfish and defend ourselves from the outside world. People look out only for themselves, even at the cost of others. We witnessed this with the hoarding of toilet paper, paper towels, and bottled water. We heard about fights in Costco over these products. Even gun sales are up, especially among first-time gun buyers.
In the past, when pandemics hit, families would disown their children when they contracted the disease. We can even come to begin to blame people for the situation we are in, whether it is China, Italy, or our neighbors.
Pandemics can make us believe the lie of scarcity, that there just isn’t enough for everyone, so we need to “get ours” before there isn’t anything left. We are driven by selfishness, scarcity, and fear.
This is not who we are.
This is not who we were born to become.
We were created to love and co-suffer with each other.
In the Kingdom of God, there is always enough because the King is the God who will provide. This is why we can trust John’s words when he says,
“Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same…Don’t collect any more than you are required to.” Luke 3:11,13
We as citizens of the Kingdom have an opportunity to be a light in a world of fear, to be a voice of hope when other voices scream hopelessness, to show acts of generosity when it’s easy to be selfish. As followers of Jesus, we have an opportunity to reveal to the world the goodness and love of our King by how we live during this time. Be creative in love and service, even in this time of uncertainty because of our hope if in the one who is the giver, sustainer, and provider of all of life.
So as followers of Jesus, let the Coronavirus reveal in us people who love creatively, give generously, and be a voice of hope to the world around us.