Reflecting on Covid

The last year has made it very difficult for human beings to gather together. Covid-19 not only is a virus that can make us physically sick, it can (and has) affect us mentally, socially, and spirituality. I myself fell victim to a Covid related depression in a very horrible way. No doubt this pandemic has had a destructive influence on many people.

Now, as we seem to be approaching (and I stress the word seem) the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel perhaps we need to seek insights that might enable us to grow spiritually as we reflect upon the situations, conditions, and effects of this virus.

There have been those who have lamented how technology (especially social media) has made our world less personal. With Covid we experienced a new isolation. In order to be semi-safe we had to wear masks and stay at least six feet apart. This is not conducive to our human need for contact. We were reminded by the continuous climbing death toll during the pandemic of just how vulnerable human beings can be. For some, simply shaking a hand or giving a hug (even in love) became the vessel through which death embraced them. Many, many died alone. If you were in the hospital you could not see your loved ones except possible through a window.

Worship gatherings were canceled or moved to online only. Zoom moved from the realm of a word representing a fast sound to a word meaning this is how we meet. In so many ways the semi-personal become the only possible personal means of contact.

So what can Covid and the pandemic offer us spiritually? I believe that by reflecting on questions we may find some valuable lessons from the pandemic.

  1. Who did you miss most during this time and why?
  2. Did you examine your own actions/behaviors during this time in the light of how your actions/behaviors had an effect on others?
  3. Did you come to focus on the possibility of your own death due to Covid? How did you deal with these thoughts?
  4. Did you have a difficult time with the periods of shelter in place? Why or why not?
  5. What fears, if any arose, because of the pandemic? Why or why not?
  6. What did you lose do to the pandemic? How did this loss affect you?
  7. What are your thoughts about the presence/absence of God during the pandemic? What would you have wanted God to do? Why would you want this?

These are just some of the questions I have considered as I reflect on my own encounters with this virus. I am sure there are many more that will arise. Things that can put us in harm’s way often can bring us to a greater awareness of our place in this existence and our need to find spiritual answers. I look forward to what God will reveal.

Believe in the Goodness, but make sure the goodness is really good,

“The glory of a good person is the evidence of a good conscience. Have a good conscience and you will always be happy. A good conscience can bear a great deal and still remain serene in the midst of adversity, while a bad conscience is fearful and easily ruffled. Only be glad when you have done well. Evil persons are never really happy, nor do they feel peace within them; for ‘there is no peace for the wicked, says the Lord’ (Isa. 48:22). Even though the wicked may protest that peace is theirs and that no evil shall harm them, do not believe them. For God’s wrath will suddenly overtake them, and all they have done will be brought to nothing and their plans destroyed.” — Thomas á Kempis

There was a woman at my former workplace who wore a shirt that said, “Believe in the Goodness” and then high lighted the words, “Be the Good” within the phrase. I had watched this individual for some time. I would not dare judge her but her actions were far from good. I would see her hug a resident then ignore them when they needed something. She played office politics with a vengeance and would organize those who worked under her supervision to attack others in the workplace. She would tell lies, cover up abuse, and bad mouth the other supervisors to staff whenever she felt she could get away with it. When she smiled at me I would check my back to see if there was a knife stuck in it.

We will encounter people like this in life. When we do, there is a strong temptation to write them off and avoid them if it is at all possible. However, I believe doing so is not in our spiritual best interest. I understand how difficult it can be to discern evil from good. I am well aware that evil loves to masquerade as good. I know I have been deceived into making decisions that were not good all the while thinking they were.

Discernment is not an easy road. It is the road less taken. It requires patience, caution, and a lot of hard work. It requires discipline and much, much prayer. This is especially true when we are dealing with decisions about people. We do not know the heart of others. We likely have a limited understanding of their background, experiences and current situation. We can know that God loved them enough to become a human and die for them. They are sacred.

I did not make any comment to the woman about how I felt concerning her shirt. I just prayed that God would make it so for her. Be the Good!