HORRENDOUS DISASTER, OPPORTUNITY OR BOTH?
Few would disagree that COVID-19 is a destructive uninvited intruder into our society and lives. Already it is reaping extensive disease, deaths, grief, loss, economic hardship and societal angst on an massive international scale. The sooner we are able to stop the pandemic – the better. We must all do everything we can to minimise the disaster it is causing as the COVID-19 wave hits nation after nation. The knock-on and systemic effects will surely be extensive and the hardships yet to be encountered are inumerable and currently unfathomable.
Some see it as the end of life as we’ve known it, with the extraordinary freedoms of movement we have enjoyed over recent decades. It is certainly clear that the world will never be quite the same again. Even just the huge burden of grief and loss will take years or decades to process and recover from.
However most would also recognise that amidst the horror, something at least a bit beautiful is also happening. Families are more together at home than they were in the frenetic pre-COVID helter-skelter.
People are communicating about how they can help each other through this. We are thinking together creatively. Christians are being seen by their acts of selfless loving kindness rather than just the spectacle of their church services. An egg or two, or a jar of home-made jam or relish is being passed across the back fence to a neighbour we never really chatted with before.
It is our hope and prayer that this epidemic will soon cease, and that as few as possible people will be affected – but we also hope that in the process, we might grow in humility, kindness, care, service, courage, willingness to be inconvenienced for the good of those around us and those far away who are suffering so much more than we are. Maybe history will record positive things, as well as negative, about this difficult and painful season.