Did you ever read something that just breaks your heart? Randomly, I saw a post from a FB-friend-of-a-FB-friend…And from that post, I scrolled through a feed…
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.(Matthew 24:12, KJV)
And I saw a little glimpse into a slice of society, and I thought that the love of many has grown cold…
“People have collectively lost it. I’m so done with covid 19. If you are immunocompromised, then you should take extra precautions such as wearing a mask in public. If you don’t know if you are immunocompromised then you prob are NOT in that category of people who should do EXTRA precautions. If you work with sick people you should take precautions. Wash your hands. Plain and simple. Germs are on things we touch. Don’t touch your dirty hands to your orifices. (Body openings for those who don’t comprehend big words)”
To which was replied: “Preach.” And “My sister said that too. Use common sense and Wash your hands at all times.”
Then, there was the Declaration of Independence post, labeled as a “signed permission slip to leave your house.”
Then, there was the meme: “Quarantine is when you restrict the movement of sick people. Tyranny is when you restrict the movement of healthy people.”
There were soooo many comments: “No more fear! We will all get it at some point.”
“You don’t get to tell me how often I can go out.”
“Stay home if you have the fear of getting sick. Your fear does not equal my quarantine.”
“At some point, you will have to weigh risk vs benefit and either live out the rest of your life however long that may be as a hermit or come outside and brave the world.”
And this feed happens to belong to someone who also shares about their love for Jesus and God and Easter and Christian music and faith.
And my heart ached, as I slowly shook my head in stunned disbelief at the excruciating hardness of this little slice of life. Some of these men and women clearly had families and children. I thought, this all sounds well and brave because they’re healthy. And they think they’re healthy because they are so sensible, because they get it and everyone else doesn’t. And they’d like everyone else to back up off their liberties, please. But would these same people say these same words if they were looking into the scared and confused and pain-filled eyes of someone struggling to draw just one more breath?
And I thought, what is it that keeps me staying at home, and not complaining about it? Part of it, I know, is that my lifestyle hasn’t undergone a drastic change. Life is only a little bit different for our family, and I know that makes it easier for me to be patient. But mostly I find that every day, I am aware that people all over the world are struggling and dying in great numbers under excruciating circumstances. I can picture the face of a terrified person, young or old, rich or poor, struggling for breath in a body that is inexplicably and slowly failing. Healthcare workers are often standing by helpless as patients gradually suffocate before them. Friends and family grieve the loss and the painful knowledge that their loved one died in isolation. It’s achingly sad. I pray for individuals and groups every day who are experiencing this on some level. I picture the faces of many people that I have prayed for, by name and in general, that I know have experienced the pain and fear and suffering and misery of this very contagious and very unpredictable virus. Not only do I not want to be that person, I even-more do not want to be the person who infects that person.
And this is ultimately why I don’t mind staying home. Because as much as it depends upon me, I do not want to be the one who contributes to this anguish in another life.
Not because I’m afraid of becoming ill, or even afraid of dying. I would rather not become ill, and I pray that if I do, the Lord will sustain me to endure my illness faithfully to Him, because I know how very difficult it is to keep your thoughts on Jesus when your pain is great. Not even because I’m afraid of my family becoming ill, or dying. I would rather they not become ill, and I pray that if they do, the Lord will sustain me to care for them and comfort them faithfully, because I know how very difficult it is to keep your thoughts on Jesus when you’re caring for someone whose pain is great and you want so badly for them to feel better.
It’s hard to go home to be with the Lord in great pain. By His mercy and grace it is possible, but it is hard. It’s hard to watch someone be in great pain, even if you know they’re going home to be with the Lord. It’s sad. That’s why the Lord will wipe every tear away in heaven – because there are tears here on earth, because pain and death are sad. I no longer grieve as one who has no hope, because I know that weeping endures for the night and joy comes in the morning. But I do grieve, and I do weep, and sometimes it is night. It’s night right now, if we take a moment to see it.
I stay home, and I don’t complain, because my heart sympathizes with a world that is drowning in pain and suffering and grief and fear. And if my staying home reduces the risk of spreading those things to others, I am happy to do that. As much as it depends upon me, may it be said that I did all that I could to be a good neighbor, to make sure that I would not inflict this terrible harm on another. And may I never become so hardened-of-heart that I no longer see the faces of the individual, real, live people that I affect with my everyday decisions. May I never become so hardened-of-heart that I can look right past that terrified and gasping neighbor as I enforce my liberty to do whatever I want whenever I want. May my heart never become so hard that my self eclipses the entire rest of the world.
But understand this: In the last days terrible times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love of good, traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power…(2 Timothy 3:1-5, BSB)
We are children of God. We have no need to be afraid. We have no right to be selfish. We have the opportunity to be kind and compassionate and humble. We have the privilege to give of ourselves, in any small way, to love our neighbor, and glorify our Lord. We have the ability, by the grace of God and the power of the in-dwelling Holy Spirit, to live a love that never grows cold!
by Sydney Michalski