Responsibility, creativity, compassion, bravery and sacrifice in the face of chaos and darkness
On Sunday, we will hear from the Gospel of John the story of the healing of the blind man. It is a familiar story, and each time it is proclaimed something new is revealed. As we all face the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, I am sitting with a question that we can all ask ourselves: “What do I see?” The virus is invisible to the naked eye, yet we see the effects on the news as individuals are transported to hospitals by first responders in protective gear. We watch as store shelves empty quickly of essentials, the stock market plummets, and the list of businesses, schools and places of worship closing to protect us continues to grow. We see what appears to be nothing but chaos and dark days ahead.
But if we choose to look again -- to gaze with eyes of faith -- we see something different. We see responsibility and mutual respect as people choose to follow the safety directives of the CDC and federal, state and local authorities by telecommuting and homeschooling, practicing social distancing and self-isolation. We see creativity as education, enterprise and religion stream virtually. We see compassion as many of us rally to feed and provide care for those in need; reach out to one another from a distance to combat fear and depression. We see bravery in the employees of grocery stores and restaurants (delivery drivers, too) as they hand to us what we need. We see sacrifice as health care professionals put their lives at risk by going to work, self-isolating at home to keep their families safe. We see political, social, religious and economic barriers coming down for the sake of humanity.
And I see all of this -- through the lense of COVID-19 but also the inspiration of the Holy Spirit -- in a brighter light.
Like the man healed in John’s Gospel, our lives will never be the same. Like him, we have the opportunity to learn from a critical experience. When the crisis has been resolved and we return to a new sense of normal, we are challenged to not forget all that we did for one another, how we collaborated to survive and learned new ways to thrive. To see that what divides us is small compared to the faith that unites us.
How will you see through chaos and darkness to find hope this Lenten season?
Are you discerning religious life? Walking with someone who is? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.