Pandemic Pain & Hurt
Most of us have never lived through a full-fledged pandemic before.
Yet looking back through history, diseases have swept across the world with frightening frequency—the Plague of Justinian, the Black Death, the Great Plague of London, the Spanish Flu, Polio, AIDS, Swine Flu, SARS, MERS, Ebola and Zika. In each successive age, Christians have reacted in the face of danger and fear brought by disease.
What parts of the church body are hurting the most right now?
Christians have long been known for their love for one another, following Jesus’ command in John 15. Caring for fellow believers is perhaps one of the most noticeable ways Christians have historically responded to plagues. Looking around thoughtfully today, we see a number in parts of the church worldwide that are in particular pain as a result of our current situation.
Perhaps first is the urban church. Inter-city churches may not have the resources to stream services online, or the capacity to adequately help their members that work in sectors hit by recent shutdowns. By God’s providence, the coronavirus is providing an opportunity for the church to reach across traditional cultural and racial divides. Do you have a story?
Next, fellow believers who are poor can be expected to be disproportionately hurt by any economic downturn. Their poverty means they may already be suffering from complicating medical or health conditions or lack emergency savings to make it through times like this. Finally, elderly church members are potentially hurting. At home and at higher risk, they have needs for basic support, shopping assistance and social contact.
Now, perhaps more than ever, we need to pray as Brandon Heath has sung, “Give me your eyes so I can see everything that I keep missing.” In light of hurting brothers and sisters let us consider how we can be doers of good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
Where have you been encouraged to see the church reaching out to love one another during our current pandemic? Scroll to the bottom of this page to leave your observation.
Warren Allan Johnson, Communication Strategist
A communication strategist married to a teacher, Warren and his wife Tami are alumni of MissionNext’s The Journey Deepens retreat. Their love for what God is doing in the world has been shaped by an understanding of God’s glory described in Habakkuk 2:14, as well as short-term national and international trips. They attend Midland Evangelical Free Church in Midland, Michigan.
A local evangelical church held a food and essential items drive on Easter Day afternoon that was advertised solely via their FB page (which a friend forwarded to me). It was in support of two pantries that are in low-income areas of our greater community that were struggling to meet the needs of families in those areas. It was strictly a drive-by, no touch, wear a mask and gloves event. The outpouring was astonishing. From the video at the end, it appeared to me that there were a couple of box trucks’ worth of items, neatly sorted by type.