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.
- Who did you miss most during this time and why?
- Did you examine your own actions/behaviors during this time in the light of how your actions/behaviors had an effect on others?
- Did you come to focus on the possibility of your own death due to Covid? How did you deal with these thoughts?
- Did you have a difficult time with the periods of shelter in place? Why or why not?
- What fears, if any arose, because of the pandemic? Why or why not?
- What did you lose do to the pandemic? How did this loss affect you?
- 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.