BSK student David Grady recently wrote about how faith plays a part in the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. See David’s words below.
One of the most often repeated phrases in the Bible is “Do not be afraid” or a variation on the theme. It’s worth considering this phrase in light of the outbreak of disease across the world. It’s easy to think anyone (especially foreigners) could be carriers of COVID-19. It’s hard to know if that person on the bus, down the aisle, or across the street is suffering from seasonal allergies or something else. It’s easy to lapse into paranoia and panic in moments like this. However, the Christian faith and our common humanity demands a different response. We must continue to follow the calling of our faith in loving neighbor as self and taking care of the weakest in our society. So how do we do that in this environment? Here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
It’s okay to be scared. This seems to contradict the whole “do not be afraid” thing, but fear is a natural reaction to things we don’t fully understand and can’t fully control. It’s normal to have those feelings, but it’s problematic when we let fear control us. Admitting we are scared is the first step to dealing with our fear in a healthy way.
Don’t stop thinking. Fear often overrides our ability to think clearly and make good decisions. At moments like these, we need especially to think clearly to take actions that will keep ourselves and others healthy and whole.
Don’t stop feeling. Fear often seeks to make us focus inward and ignore the plight of others. It is moments like these Christ calls us to take care of the least of these, understanding that we are taking care of Christ in doing so. So check in on your neighbors, co-workers and friends. Offer to make them a meal and share some cleaning supplies.
We must not let fear of this disease blind us to the image of God shared by all people and our responsibility to care for one another. We must consider how Christ would have us respond to this disease: with intelligence and compassion.