Several words that are used to describe our profound emotions as we travel the long and curving path of life, are difficult to describe. We often say that we love someone or something or someplace, and yet if hard pressed to elaborate regarding about what it is that caused us to use that powerful word…we find it a bit like attempting to capture a beautiful cloud before it changes and morphs into something else. I see love when I see our nurses and doctors risk their lives to care for us during our pandemic. They work countless hours…often without the proper personal protective equipment…knowing that they have a great potential of contracting the disease.
Many times I have been comforted by a fellow traveler and made to feel less afraid of what I was facing and secure in the courage of their kind words…to only understand later that they were as a afraid as I was, and yet they cared about my wellbeing.
‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.’ I Corinthians 13: 4-5 NIV
I entered Schnucks supermarket and was greeted by a friendly attendant who offered to wipe my grocery cart with sanitizer and provide me sanitizer for my hands. This lovely person is in as much danger from the virus, as I am. Yet, she performed her work with a smile and the courage of protecting others! She did not ask me if I was a democrat or a republican…she recognized me as a fellow human being who was in need of protection from an unseen enemy.
We visited New York city on two occasions. One thing that I noticed was the regular sounds of sirens, both day and night. New Yorkers are reporting that they are hearing sirens as frequently as 9/11. The governor of New York, nor is any governor, exaggerating the need for more ventilators…now! The coronavirus is not a political issue…it is not a red or blue issue. Sadly…the scope of the pandemic…will affect families of all political and religious persuasions…and the loved ones of the ill people…will want them to have access to a ventilator!
Three and one half million people filed for unemployment insurance last week…and this is an increase of 1,500%, according to the most recent report. These are numbers that eclipse all records. The restaurant industry has been devastated. There are millions of Americans who not only eligible for unemployment insurance and 80% of our fellow citizens live from pay day to pay day. The Food Pantry’s in our area are shut-down…they are out of food! When I see people who care and are, visibly, burdened by the suffering of others…I see love.
Faith has always been a word that I find difficult to explain. ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ Hebrews 11:1 KJV
Grandmother Askew, who passed away in 1969, read her Bible, daily. She told me that times were coming upon the world that would ‘try men’s souls.’ She had lived through the Great Depression. Grandma and her five children had been hungry…and had been forced to forage for persimmons to stave off starvation.
Media and movies and reality shows and Facebook and social media…have demanded our attention and captivated our minds. Now, in real time…as we are recently fond of saying, we desperately need each other.
My faith is increased when when I witness the love and concern and selflessness of our first responders, and our custodians, and our grocery store workers.
My faith is increased as we all stay inward…and look outward… to all who need our love and assistance and our, virtual, hand of love and help in this dark storm of the soul.
I spoke with my good friend, Jeff, this morning. Jeff and Margo live in London. They are experiencing a similar stay at home order. We commiserated regarding the rapidity and randomness of the virus. We committed to meet, somewhere in the world, once the pandemic is over…friends are precious…