You may have seen a document circulating online about the spiritual and personal changes we should have made during the 40 days of our shut-in. It referenced bible passages, general facts about 40 days, and even just the number 40. Frankly, I read it. I got it. But it caused me to think more deeply about whether there are some people (ok, and other forces) that don’t want us to hang in long enough to make those 40-day changes. Perhaps there are reasons for rushing to fully open the economy before we are even reasonably free from the threat of the virus. Maybe some folk don’t want us to learn critical lessons about ourselves and our society. I was thinking…
If we stop before the 40 days, then folk won’t find out that Black people are staying alive despite the virus and the odds stacked against us.
If we quit too soon, then young people may not realize that their identity and beauty are NOT in their weave, nails, lashes, hairstyles or clothes.
If we give up now, Black people, poor people and young people may not realize the importance of their vote!
If we don’t stay the course, then we won’t realize the beauty of seeing individuals come to the aid of folk who would starve or be overlooked otherwise.
If we return to our individual denominations, traditions and neighborhood churches too soon, we may miss the fact that people of all faiths being unified in their love for God and their effort to help people.
If we stop doing our virtual worship, we may not understand that Jesus is revealing himself creatively and wonderfully through virtual churches and He’s reaching people who have not previously heeded the Word.
Not only that but if we rush to reach the old “normal”, then churches may not finish the lesson God is teaching us about how to go old school – like biblical old school – when the church was not about the building but was about being the church sho nuff in accordance with Micah 6:8 so that we show mercy, touch lives, feed the hungry, pray even for the people we don’t know, and seek justice in a world that needs to recognize the love and power of the Lord.
If we go back too soon, we may not notice that God is restoring the air because we aren’t emitting poisons from our exhausts. Shucks, we might even notice how the stars are revealing their beauty because we are not polluting the skies.
If we turn ourselves to the economy and the rat race that we call work too fast, then we may miss the fact that our families are being restored and learning to love and listen to each other again just because we have to stay together for more than a few hours each day.
If we don’t hang tough, then we may not learn compassion and see others through God’s eyes because we feel their pain. We may not realize that humanity is shedding tears because we finally feel the hurt of others. We don’t want to miss the lessons we’re learning about grieving losses and understanding the value and importance of every life.
Maybe the greatest change that can come from our sheltering in place, staying at home and being socially distant is that we will realize that we are totally connected as God desired.
Maybe in these 40 days we will learn that we really are one family! And we really don’t want to miss that!
Stay safe and encouraged.