I know these are very stressful times and many are simply having a difficult time, coping or knowing where do we go from here. Many in the faith community start with platitudes and their “All Knowingness” moronic answers. The government and news media points fingers and accuses each other for being slow, fake or whatever else serves their agendas.
However, I want to approach this from a different perspective. This is not God’s judgment or caused by God. I know that religion loves to use any and all circumstances to point to humankind’s need for God, by driving a message of fear and retribution but, I do not believe this is the heart of God or God’s Gospel. Like Richard Rohr put it in his book:
“That as long as we keep God imprisoned in a retributive frame instead of a restorative frame, we really have no substantial good news; it is neither good nor new, but the same old tired story line”
Excerpt From: Richard Rohr. “The Universal Christ.”
We can take comfort that God meets us in our sufferings and walks with us through it. God demonstrates Love and help in our trouble. God is Love, Hope and Faithfulness. Wherever we find God we find all three of these virtues. We know we are loved, we know that we have hope and we know that God is faithful. These must be what our faith and trust is based on. These are the blueprints and foundations of our faith. I can trust God, because God is Love. I can Trust God because God is Hope. I can trust God because God is faithful.
I do not minimize the loss, grief or suffering of many in this world today. We have already lost too much and it breaks my heart to see the suffering and pain the world is in. I can only feel this because of the grace and love of Christ He has put in my heart. I see no difference, or separation from my Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Korean or Iranian family. We are all in this together. God so loved and loves the World……that he gave the Son. God’s heart and message has not changed. May we demonstrate this love and message with all of our neighbors, no matter what nation, race or standing.
I also believe this is a time of shifting. The world and society cannot keep going as it has been for too long. We have found ourselves forced to get still and slow down to focus on who and what is important to us. We will come out of this crisis changed. My hope is that it will be a change for the better.
REM has a song that says, ” Its the end of the world as we know it…” and I think the world does need a change and the way it has been going does need to end. What if this is a reset. A time to change how we think of and treat each other. I have seen a unity and sacrifice of people in the last few weeks that does not demonstrate evil or division but it manifests a love and sacrifice I recognize in a loving divine parent. The love that has picked me up so many times and walked me through difficult times in my life.
I see Christ in the healthcare workers who sacrifice and risk their own health and that of their families to fulfill their calling. I see Christ in the humor of the Wal-mart greeter that made us laugh the other day, and lessoned our stress and anxiety. I see Christ in the people reaching out to friends and neighbors to see how they can help them.
I don’t know how long this crisis or pandemic will last, but I know that I will see Christ manifested in many more ways. I do not mean the religious self-righteous version that judges and speaks gloom and doom and acts like they delight in it. I mean the Christ that even manifests in the unreligious and people who claim no church affiliation. Those who Christ hung out with the first time he came. Give me those people any day over the religious and self-righteous.
lastly I want to say, be smart! Wash your hands, socially distance yourself, and listen to the science of times like this as well. Faith and Science are not opposites. In Fact they work very well together. Do not be so spiritual that you are no earthly good. Faith is about Love, hope and faithfulness and these are the most useful, necessary and practical virtues the world needs right now. In times like these.