March 25, 2020
These unprecedented and uncertain times are giving people a lot of feelings to process, not to mention a lot of time to process them. While many of these emotions are not necessarily new, some seem to be particularly poignant: anxiety, fear, confusion, depression, etc. Although we know that these responses are “normal” and “expected” and “universal” during this COVID-19 crisis, that does not make them any less unpleasant. So how do we temper these negative feelings during this time? How do we maintain our relative humanity and sanity we all felt before these feelings settled in so prominently? I think the answer is simple. Hope.
For me – and I think all people of the Judeo-Christian faith – I find hope in the truth of God’s love for the world. I think the words of Servant of God Luis María Martinez (†1956), Archbishop of Mexico, are instructive:
Jesus is the one who brought us a message from heaven. He came to tell us that God loves us with an infinite love, with an eternal love; and that he loves us to the extent that having given us his own son and having delivered him to death for love of us… Hence, we must believe in the love, the goodness, and the mercy of God toward us. And on this most solid foundation we must base our hope.
This foundation of hope is visible to me during this time in a way I could never have imagined. I see people on Nextdoor loving their neighbors by bringing them groceries. I read articles about doctors and nurses who work on the front lines of treating the virus for long hours, and to love their families so much they self-isolate on opposite sides of the house to keep their loved ones safe, when I’m sure all they want is human connection when they get home. I see my kids teaching their grandparents how to use FaceTime so they can still communicate with them during this time of social distancing. All of these examples of love for one another remind me of God’s infinite love for His people. And that gives me hope.