Over the past weeks the impact of COVID has become more serious in many places. The images from India, as well as knowing that many other places are doing it tough, have impacted us.
In the past year there have been many changes. The anticipated ‘normal’ that we planned for has gone for ever. We are learning new ways of living. New ways of being in relationship, new ways of reaching out with care, new ways of providing support and encouragement.
Two realities come to the fore. One reality is the critical importance of living with compassion for others. We may have opinions about why something has happened and who is at fault. No matter what our conclusions are, people are hurting and struggling. These are all people with whom we have much in common. Each of us created in the image of God. Every one of us a person for whom Christ died. All of us are invited to share in the justice and joy of God’s Kingdom. We share a common humanity, vulnerability and fear. We are one, and accepting this reality is the foundation of compassion.
A second reality is the resilience of the human spirit. People face such fearful times, yet they continue to live. There is injustice, suffering, trauma and death. People cannot socially distance because of the density of housing and community. Yet what do we see? We see people maintaining the rhythms of the everyday – work, school, sleep, family life and belonging. We know who we are; in our being we are connected to others. In the grace and providence of God we sense and discover something more. Another day begins and we go on. Maybe with hesitation and fearfulness. Always with the promise of Jesus, ‘I am with you always – even to the end of the age.’ It is in this promise that strength is found. A promise of companionship, support and encouragement. A rich gift of forgiving and renewing love.
God connects us in one family and asks us in the body image of 1 Corinthians 12:26 to experience and share the journey of life with others; sharing pain, supporting journeys, and celebrating victories. We are connected, we are together and we bring what we have to encourage and support those for whom life is a struggle. In turn, they challenge us in how they live and, also, they inspire and encourage us.