And The People Stayed Home
Special Notice: For information related to our current schedule of ministry activities and ways to stay connected, please see the “Upcoming Events” post below.
This poem by Kitty O’Meara has been circulating on social media in the past few days:
And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.
I have to admit, I appreciate the sentiment of this writing. The idea that we can make the most of this current crisis, using our time differently than we normally do, slowing down, and finding new routines is appealing. And I would add, I think we will learn a LOT from this experience. There is no other force on earth that could cause all people to change their lives so dramatically. I hope some good may come of this, that we will learn, perhaps, what things were never actually that important, and find new things that become higher priorities.
And yet, this current crisis will also cause much pain. That cannot be overlooked. I pray hope will be found amidst the pain as we see people sacrifice of themselves to serve others and that a new sense of community and national identity can be formed. Yet, there will also be those who suffer. There will be families who lose loved ones, healthcare professions who work excruciating hours, and financial difficulty for many. This season demands our prayers, our empathy, and our action, to help in those ways we can, finding radical ways to love our neighbor.
We will emerge from this as a changed people, that seems almost certain. Will this change be for the better? The poem above imagines that the earth might heal because the dramatic shifting of our lives. Perhaps. And eventually, there will studies finding significant drops in levels of smog and harmful emissions during this season. Will we change our ways?
Ultimately our hope rests somewhere else however, where it has always been for people of faith. We trust God to see us through this current crisis. We ask God to be with us, to speak to us through his Word, and to comfort those who are hurting. And we ask God to help us envision a brighter future, not one where we have healed ourselves or this earth, but where he has healed the deeper problems of our lives, of sin, broken relationships, and death. God is our hope, now as ever. We find grace, mercy, and joy in the presence of his Son, our savior Jesus. May he be with us in these days.
~Pastor Mike Middaugh