We live in unprecedented times. Those of us who are fortunate are stuck in the confines of our homes with little or no stimulation from the outside ‘real world’ while our less fortunate brothers and sisters are battling the dreaded virus in hospitals across the globe. Never before heard terms like ‘social distancing’ and ‘flatten the curve’ are being tossed around with an increasing frequency and a desperate urgency. The best and worst of human nature is on display for all to see.
Local communities have banded together to help vulnerable groups, neighbors who never spoke to each other went out of their way to help where possible. People put out food and water for strays. Young people offered to deliver groceries and other essentials to the elderly in nearby communities.
People also fought over daily essentials at grocery stores and bought supplies in bulk, leaving many with little or no access to daily essentials. Daily wage laborers struggled to make ends meet and many made the journey to their villages on foot from metro cities to escape possible starvation.
The new normal has been transformed into something that we hardly recognize but here is the thing – there is HOPE!
Not just because the world’s best minds are united in their efforts to frantically find a vaccination or because the cases will eventually reduce to a negligible minority owing to herd immunization but because the modern Christian church has had a resurrection of sorts.
Adversity has stirred the hearts and minds of the passive Christian – almost every church has made a digital service available for their congregation regardless of how big or small. People are praying for the community, country, global leadership, and the strangers in the nearby hospital keeping the medicare system going. How radical that what we were called to do as a church anyway, a virus forces us to do.
I spent Saturday on a Zoom call with friends from my own local Christian charismatic church in Mumbai – laughing, singing and sharing experiences of wonder, gratefulness, and occasional despair. We talked about medical care professionals as if they were family, we discussed national issues, not a spectator sport, but as citizens that are being called to action. We encouraged each other, challenged each but most of all we reminded each of the promises we have of undying hope!