Gone Viral

Like many, when Coronavirus became part of the daily conversation, I was outwardly expressing my disbelief in the seriousness of the situation. My thoughts and words said, “everyone is overreacting.” Even up until very recently, while people were dying in nursing homes in Washington state, I wasn’t ready to accept that what had gone viral was anything more than speculation and sensationalism. And the phrase “social distancing” is, let’s face it, wholly annoying.

Then it started to have an impact on my life. Things around me are shutting down. My youngest daughter cannot return to college from spring break. My oldest daughter and her husband have to figure out how to teach without being with their students. My father’s apartment complex is on “lock down,” with no visitors in and no going out–even to the store to stock up on the world’s most treasured panic item, toilet paper.

So I’ve gotten a little frightened.

I can say that I’m frightened for my father, whose health issues put him square in the vulnerable group. I can say I’m frightened for my kids, who interact with many people every day. I can say I’m frightened for the business for which I work and the certain economic impact coming. All of these fears are legitimate and my behavior should be to listen to the words of the medical professionals, even those led to the podiums by politicians. But what I really seem to fear is more, well, the inconvenience of it all.

And that’s a sin.

At my baptism, I was called to a life of holiness. And while I didn’t know or understand that call as an infant, I do understand it now. God and His Son tell me holiness is rooted in love of other. Fear of my own inconvenience, or fear of fear, is really focused squarely on my own desire and not on the welfare or love of others.

How do I do this when I have to keep a healthy distance from others? First, I must live free from fear. The Bible is said to have 365 references extolling me not to fear–one reminder for every day of the year. Maybe I can use up a disproportionate number of those references over the next few months. Next, I need to pray for those who are impacted beyond mere convenience. My neighbors, in this sense, are all over the world. I am a person of prayer and I need to put that to work praying for others whose circumstances are far worse than my own. I also need to pray that I turn my heart to God alone.

Most importantly, I need to show kindness and gratitude. As I get gas or groceries, I can smile from six feet away. I can say a kind word of thanks to those who continue to go to work so I can have the basics of me living my life. I have written before that love does not mean life is a hug-fest. So I can love without the touchy-feely, in-your-face, projectile emotion.

And I can remind all I meet or who read my Tweets or my blog that God loves each and every one of us. He is our Creator and He cannot stop loving His creation. Isaiah 54:10-11 tells me this unequivocally:

Though the mountains fall away and the hills be shaken, My love shall never fall away from you nor My covenant of peace be shaken, says the the Lord, who has mercy on you. O afflicted one, storm-battered and unconsoled, I lay your pavements in carnelians, your foundations in sapphires.

When God is our foundation, we cannot fear anything except our own turning away from Him. I, for one, will not turn away from Him now because times are hard and I am frightened. I will, instead, turn more directly toward Him and rely solely upon Him to lift me up.

Pray unceasingly. Let your prayer go viral. Let God’s all encompassing love surround you. Know His grace in your life. Praise Him. Now. Always. Amen.

8 thoughts on “Gone Viral

  1. Personally/, I’m not a fan of having my daily life uprooted, so I’m taking these adjustments from the bishops and state officials like swallowing a rock!
    However, I won’t complain at then because I know they’re trying to do what’s best for the common good.

    I hope your dad is ok. I know you posted a photo and a quick message about him.

    These are turbulent times but you’ve given a lot of things to consider. We can combat this viral illness with keeping calm, PRAYER!!, and as the old prayer warriors would say, “let’s not forget whose we are.” All are vital things to get us through this unprecedented pandemic.

    Spread the contagious joy of Jesus Christ 😃

    Oh boy! I said “contagious”

    😯

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My dad has, fortunately, become more matter of fact about being in “lock down.” He’s safe where he is. It’s good the spring weather allows us to visit from the alley beneath his deck. When it warms a bit, those visits can be a little longer.
      I continue to pray for your mission, Efran. You have life experience an wisdom to share (and a good appreciation of music and movies!). Peace to you, Mrs. Menny and little man Menny.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Tim, a timely POST.

    I am reminded that LIFE “IS a God test;and that Jesus Is here, Is Present and Loves us.
    The questions seems to be how much do we love and TRUST Him?

    That is an important “sidebar” to all that is taking place and looms large in our futures.

    Drear Jesus Mercy please,
    Patrick

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This will be a Lent to remember. Forces of nature are forcing us all into collective privations of sorts, a society-wide “fasting” of things we take for granted. Speaking strictly from the vantage point of a non-vulnerable member of society, I’ve been trying to take this as an opportunity to imagine how I can share my own resources with others in greater need and reconcile myself to the idea that my self-imposed Lenten privations may well be a preparation for more serious forced privations. God has shaken the foundations of our comfortable self-deceptions about having control over our own lives.

    Liked by 4 people

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