(Disclaimer: that title is misleading and for that, I apologize. This post is not about what we know about Covid-19. It’s just that I wrote most of this post last night, had a fitful night sleep and have had nowhere near enough coffee this morning, so…it is what it is.)
I can’t pretend to understand this virus thing. How it started, or how it took over the world. It feels like we went from 0 to 100 in about 6 seconds, right? We heard about a flu virus in China and then toilet paper started flying off shelves like snicker bars at fat camp. I panicked, not because of the flu virus but because I was low on tp and there was none to buy and suddenly things got real.
Schools are closing and spring break could turn into spring-see-you-in-the-fall. I know. Far fetched. And yet, they bought.all.the.toilet.paper. Anything can happen. The gloves are off, apparently.
Large gatherings are now prohibited. Events are being canceled. Sports have been canceled. Sports. No spectators for March Madness. I don’t even like basketball but I felt that one. Both the church I attend, and the one I work for have suspended Sunday worship services. I have never seen these things happen before. It feels like we’re way off course and there are no familiar landmarks. No one seems to know how or why or what to do next, except buy toilet paper. All of it. Because we don’t know what’s happening, but having enough toilet paper makes us feel safer.
But, there are some things we do know.
We, the Church, are built for this very thing. We have been discipled by selfless love, a love that teaches us to go unafraid into uncharted places. A love that never leaves us stranded.
We know the Waymaker through this thing and we know that in any crisis, any storm, He is drawing people to Himself. And we can help them get there, because we know the way.
We know what it looks like to put someone else first, to lay down our rights and go low. We are disciples of the King who washed the feet of those who were with Him, so we know what it looks like to serve instead of needing to be served.
We know fear is a liar and Truth is a person and we know which one to follow. We know where our help comes from and that our Father is good and always gives us what we need, and we know that all things, all things, serve Him and every storm will obey Him. So we know not to be afraid.
We know the need for community and unity. He taught us that we are not loners, we are family and when we come together in love, bearing one another up, forgiving offenses and urging one another on toward greater faith, the world sees Jesus.
There’s a lot we don’t know, but we know enough.
The catch? People don’t need to know what we know. They need us to do what we know and to be what we know. To be people of peace in the chaos, people of sacrificial love in an every-man-for-himself season, people unafraid, filled with the Spirit of wisdom, with self-control, patience, and kindness. The people of God, lighting up the dark.
Right now, there is a shortage of more than just toilet paper. This is not the hour for the Church to hoard what the world needs.