March 21, 2020
Today as I woke up and fianlly decided to get out of bed and start my day, I did what probably most of us are likely doing in the circumstances we are facing with COVID-19, I started scrolling Facebook.
As I did, I came across posts of Churches moving to online opportunities, so you can still attend, just via a screen from the comfort of your couch. I saw posts of people sharing scripture or asking “what scriptures are you leaning on” during this season of life where we are facing many uncertainties. I also came across several Coronavirus updates; another case for our county, government mandates, and finally one that said 627 people had died in Italy from Coronavirus from Friday-Saturday (24 hours!). That one stopped me in my tracks. I was shocked. Stunned. I’m sure there have been numbers like that before in China or other countries, but today, it stood out even more.
I finally was able to scroll on and when I did, I came across a post from Natalie Grant. Her and her husband were sitting at the piano and while he played she sang to Jesus, in the simplistic ways of her worshiping her heavenly father. The video had a few different songs and lasted about 10 minutes; it was beautiful. Bernie, her husband, plays the piano in the most brilliant of ways and her singing with him was simply a work of art, one that helped bring some solace for me in that moment.
As I continued to listen, I thought to myself, why is this happening? Why couldn’t this outbreak have been quarantined immediately, why wasn’t it stopped? Natalie sang words of “letting the storms be tamed and that everything that comes against us be bound by Jesus’ name.”
As I kept listening to the words of the songs, songs I even know and worship to, I wondered what about the person who doesn’t know Jesus would say as they are watching this. “this” being this video of worship or posts about online opportunities to watch your pastor or scriptures. What is in their head? Are they saying “but Jesus let the storm come and rage against us”?
So I text one of my dear friends…”I’m a Christian. You’re a Christian. We love Jesus. People are saying it’s time for the Church to rise up. But…if i was a non-believer, my first question would be, ‘if your God is a God of Love, why is He allowing this. People are dying.’ and so what do we say”
SIDE NOTE: Before you crucify me with your comments, please think about how you came to know Jesus. Some of us were raised in church, it was our upbringing. That’s why we know and act and do what we do today. So please keep in mind that “non-believers” doesn’t always mean those with addictions who we want to classify or assume that they have shunned Jesus”. No, sometimes “non believer” simply means they grew up in a homelife that wasn’t as fortunate as some of ours. So simply put, lets just be heartfelt and open for a moment about the “non believer,” because we were all that at some point.
As we chatted and I continued to ask other folks this same type of question: why is this all happening. I got answers like “this IS the end time”, or perhaps only “signs” of the end times, and also maybe it’s simply to “get our attention”. That we as a people are too focused on ourselves (#selfish) and our lives, and we need to slow down.
As this days begins to end, I came to my own conclusion of sorts. I don’t think I’d have an answer for the non believer who would ask me why Jesus is letting this happen. Because from my heavy heart today, I don’t want to be a person that scared them into knowing Jesus or scares them away, I think I would simply be honest and say, “I don’t know, I have that same question myself. But what I do know, is that He is still God of this world” (and use examples in my own life that reminds me daily, He’s still there, and share those).
I think what’s most important in this very critical season we face, is that we, “we” the Church, “we” the Christians, “we” the ones that know Jesus, have to love like Jesus loved. That’s all. It sounds so simple, I know. But Jesus was simple. He didn’t necessarly share with folks things that would scare them. I feel like by telling anyone “it’s the end of times and you need to know Jesus” or more or less trying to “scare” them to know our loving God, is not going to work. The way in which the Church should rise up, is by being the literal “hands and feet” of Jesus; which is what we are called to do afterall. We can take lunches or coffee or gloves or supplies to those on the frontlines. You can cook a meal for that elderly person down the street that you know doesn’t know Jesus. You can call and check in on your co-workers that you now don’t get to see because of shut downs or working from home office. You can share your toilet paper! (Because seriously people, if we love Jesus and aren’t sharing TP, we got problems-LOL).
So I hope today, that somehow this post simply urges you to share with those around you, in some way/shape/act/form, how Jesus simply loves you daily.
Stay Safe and Healthy.