Welcome to the first issue of the “Daily Dose” – God’s Word and encouragement for difficult and profoundly interesting times!
-- "And He <Jesus> answered, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.'" -- Read Luke 10: The story of the Good Samaritan
As this pandemic began to mess with my life, I first took a rather selfish stance. My concerns went to my immediate family. How will COVID-19 affect us? Do we enough food and water? Of course, do we have enough toilet paper? What about our trip to Europe this summer? We were so excited. Much worse, what will happen to us financially?
For a moment there, I felt this very strong survival instinct take over. And I could have easily empathized with someone who might fight over the gas pump or food or toilet paper if the crisis worsened. And then I snapped out of it. With one tiny question, my entire perspective changed. With one question, I realized that COVID-19 is giving me a chance to be the best version of myself. What about the people that are worse off than me?
Think about that question for a moment, like really ponder it for a minute. What about the people that are worse off than we?
See that? What just happened? Like the flip of a switch, my entire mindset changed. What about the HIV patients in Wuhan who can’t get medicine? What about the woman in a nursing home who feels all alone right now? She doesn’t have much time left and she might not ever be able to see her daughter again, who can’t visit for fear of spreading the virus. What about the couple who had planned their retirement for this year, working their entire lives for the moment when they’d be able to hit the road in an RV to see their country? And then they watch in horror as their savings—just like the chance of living their dream—dwindled in a matter of days. What about the single parents who somehow have to navigate working a full-time job (or two), while taking care of their children who won’t be going to school for maybe the rest of the year? How in the world can they, with so little notice, figure out how to 'home school'? Who will help?
What about the hourly wage workers living paycheck to paycheck? How will they pay their rent? Or even eat! What about the couple in Seattle who put all their money and time into the restaurant of their dreams, opening it just in time for spring? Their first few days are a success and they hug and kiss each other, knowing they’d finally done it. They’d made it. And then, suddenly, their restaurant is empty. For that matter, what about all the people who took giant risks and started their own companies in the past few months? And what about the people who actually have the virus and are dying? Or those who are losing their loved ones?
The lesson I’ve learned and will white-knuckle all the way to the end of this crisis is that it isn’t about me protecting myself or my family. It’s about me (and my family) looking out for strangers. It’s about me finding the strength to offer my last roll of toilet paper to my neighbor. It’s about me wondering if that elderly man down the street needs any help. It’s about me putting my selfishness aside and being the person my parents raised me to be. Now is the time for me to love harder than I’ve ever imagined possible.
My heart breaks for all of you who are struggling right now. If I can do anything to help, please let me know! When I read stories about the brave souls in Wuhan finding ways to help people get medicine, or about the heroes racing to create a vaccine, or about anyone going out of their way to pull up their fellow man, I am filled with tremendous hope. Not only will we overcome this awful plague, but mankind will come out better because of it – and much more importantly – God is God – and He is in the midst of all of our lives! He yearns for you to come to Him! Pray, praise and give thanks! Help your fellow man. Now is not the time to run out and hide, but the time to run in and help.
God be with you, my friends! God keep you in His mighty care! God grant you and your neighbors peace!
Rachel (with a few snippets taken from author Boo Walker)