It seems as if we were just exchanging messages, hugs and well wishes for the excitement to embark on a journey into a new decade. Vision boards, goals, and New Year’s resolutions were set as we could barely contain the excitement to hit the ground running. Then suddenly the biggest disruption this generation has ever seen brings life as we know it to a screeching halt.
News of the Coronavirus has taken every media outlet and conversation hostage. Nearly half of those who have fallen victim to the disease fully recover to share a message of caution to those who fail to take head to safety guidelines of social distancing. For others, the outcome is not so promising as they lose the battle for their lives and adding to the climbing death tolls across the nation and world. The Coronavirus pandemic has challenged humanity medically and spiritually as the fear of uncertainty has sparked panic-driven shopping sprees causing toilet paper, hand sanitizer and antibacterial household cleaning supplies to become the hottest commodities on the market overnight.
Major sporting events, concerts, weddings, graduations, and even the 2020 Summer Olympics have been postponed or canceled. The closing of schools and corporate office buildings have forced families to work from home and homeschool children. The economy has taken a beating as thousands are laid off due to the temporary closing of non-essential businesses. Churches have been ordered to close and in lieu of Sunday morning worship services, millions of people join online sermons in their homes desperate for hope and connection. Since the church has left the building, how does it respond in the face of this crisis? Just as our medical professionals are on the front line of the war on Coronavirus, the church should be on the front line of the war on fear. Now more than ever the world needs to hear from the church. We have the opportunity to use our light to illuminate the pathway to Christ. Millions are lost in the darkness searching and clinging to superficial pleasures to find a way out.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. -Matthew 5:16
What are some practical ways we can shine a light of hope to help others in need all while keeping ourselves encouraged?
1. Use technology
Technology is amoral. It’s neither good nor bad and incumbent upon the people with good intentions to use it as a conduit to spread hope and positivity. Social Media has taken center stage for keeping people connected so we should stay engaged by sharing words of encouragement that will brighten someone’s day. Dinner parties and playdates via virtual video conferencing platforms have become the new thing to do. Get creative!
2. Phone a friend
For many of us, quarantine life has brought a much-needed break from the fast pace of the everyday rat race. Now is the time to touch base and check in with distant relatives and friends. Sharing some encouragement and reminisce on memories that will warm the heart.
3. Give to a Cause
There are lots of opportunities to give hope by donating time, money, food and other resources. VolunteerMatch provides virtual volunteer opportunities such as: become a virtual big brother big sister mentor, make friendly phone calls to seniors, make face masks for the elderly and contribute to emergency food pantries. You can also find out whether your local church is participating in relief efforts for COVID-19.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Exactly when we’ll regain some level of normalcy again is unknown but one thing is for certain, life will not be the same. There has been a shift in the way we go about our day to day, think and behave. This experience has been humbling, to say the least, and so much of what we once took for granted have now been brought into focus. I believe wholeheartedly in the scripture that says “all things work for the good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose” ~ (Romans 8:28). If you have been struggling with discovering your purpose then now is the time to get closer to the One who created you and to know what He’s calling you to do. If you have discovered your purpose but have yet to carve out the necessary time to take steps toward your destiny now is the time to take action. I am hopeful that if we redeem the time now and do the work we will reemerge as better human beings.