The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted our church life and our personal lives. Many of our plans for the next several weeks have been cancelled. Universities and schools have been cancelled. Conferences, concerts, performances, plays, and movies have been cancelled. Many of us will have to work from home. Many of us will have to arrange for childcare. Many of us will be isolated and alone for weeks.
We will have many hardships and disappointments to bear. But I want to emphasize that though these personal hardships and disappointments are real, this crisis is much bigger than our personal lives. It’s a national and international crisis, and like any crisis, it calls upon us to respond with “the better angels of our nature,” to use Lincoln’s words. The spiritual challenge of this crisis is to recognize our interdependence, to recognize that we are citizens of the world and brothers and sisters of the human family, that we are in this together, and that we will get through this together.
So do whatever you can to help. Wash your hands. Keep a safe distance from others. Stay at home. Cancel group meetings. Don’t burden the medical system unless it’s urgent. Go shopping, run errands, or cook a meal for someone who can’t leave home. Watch someone’s kid for them while they’re at work. If you’re not sure what to do to help, just ask. You can also sign up to be a helper for fellow MLUC members on our Parish Nurse’s volunteer list by contacting Anne Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can help by seeing yourself as part of something bigger than yourself.
Fred Rogers said that when he was a boy and would see scary things in the news, his mother would reassure him by saying, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” As we look around us in this crisis, let others see that you are one of the helpers.
Be calm, be safe, and be helpful.