We Interrupt This Broadcast…

Every now and then on a seemingly normal day, we’ll hear, “We interrupt this broadcast for an important bulletin.” The voice will then go on to tell us about an imminent weather event or a troubling news announcement. Well, in light of the current health crisis – we interrupt our normally scheduled article for a special encouragement.

Now, first off let me say this. I know that not everyone on the Lambchow mailing list is being affected by the Covid-19 virus at this time. Where I live, rural central Illinois in the United States, we’re in uncharted waters. Schools are closed state-wide for at least two weeks. Bars and restaurants are closed by the mandate of the Governor. All this and more the desire to blunt the spread of the virus that seems both of little consequence for most and fearfully out of our control.  To be open, I wasn’t planning on writing about the virus.

Since we’re truly in uncharted waters there may be questions and fears. These encouragements are perhaps good things to remember whenever tragedy comes our way. One is to fear and trust God more than whatever is happening. To quote VeggieTales – God is bigger than the boogeyman. The unknown is always fearful and stressful.  God is with us, always.

Continue to do the things we should always be doing. Pray. Pray for the nations. Pray for healing. Pray for wisdom – both personal and for leaders. Pray for personal guidance. Connect – even though we may not meet face to face connect with others. Social isolation does not require loneliness. Technology allows us to see, talk, and communicate with others – use it. Care – use this time to care for folks. Take meals and care packages to the elderly. Find ways to foster community with those shutoff from contact. Do shopping runs for those that can’t go out. Especially consider how to care for those who have little. Maybe they can’t work because of the various bans. Or perhaps they’re torn between going to work and watching their out-of-school kids. There are many ways to be Jesus’ ambassadors during this time.

Finally, avoid fear causing speculation and conspiracy theories. In other words, keep your head on straight.  Being Salt and Light to a world darkened with bitter trouble is our job. We can’t do that if we fall prey to unfounded fear.

For those not affected. Thanks for letting me interrupt our normal routine. I’m very mindful that you have your own set of worries and struggles. Some perhaps far worse than the virus upending my part of the world. Wars, terrorists, Ebola, and poverty all come to mind. The advice is the same – pray, connect, and care. It’s what Jesus followers must always do regardless of the troubles we face.

Dale Heinold
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