The year 2020 has riddled our country with tough questions that challenge us to introspectively look into ourselves and really contemplate what matters to us and what matters to God. It struck me that we were in Lent when the coronavirus really began to affect our country.
As so many were facing great suffering, it seemed sadly appropriate that this invisible to the eye virus had the appearance of a Crown of Thorns under a microscope. So many of its symptoms resemble The Cross — dying, gasping for breath; alone, where those that love you can only agonizingly look on from a distance. Quickly, our hearts were put under a microscope as well, as we have had to decide if the elderly, sick and vulnerable among us are worth the sacrifices of the young, the healthy and the strong.
The country and the world has been faced with a decision of whether to take the path of “Survival of the Fittest” or to go to extreme measures to protect lives, especially the weakest.
In many significant and amazing ways, the world has chosen to protect life. In ways I have never witnessed before, even over personal convenience and money, people are going to great lengths to exhibit acts of love that I believe truly matter to God.
In Phillipians 2:3-4, it says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Surely, the crisis of coronavirus has given each of us an opportunity to exhibit Christ’s love, be it by social distancing, wearing a mask, doing frontline work or by helping others feel safe.
The verse goes on to talk about the nature of God in our relationships with others, how he humbled himself, having the attitude of a servant and loving us even at the cost of his life. I have witnessed so many reflecting and living out this sacrificial love amidst this pandemic!
This year the tough questions do not stop at the coronavirus though. This year, and perhaps this Father’s Day, is also challenging us to introspectively look into ourselves and consider God and how He sees His children. Surely, God sees His Image within all those He created for His Love, but can we?
As much as the coronavirus attacks our physical being, racism attacks our spiritual being. Most of us know even the subtle symptoms of the coronavirus by now, but what about the subtle symptoms of systemic racism that have stealthily been passed on unwittingly?
Have we, who are white, truly asked ourselves if we can actually see God in our Black our brothers and sisters, as much as we do those with lighter skin? When we hear the words, “What you do unto the least of these, you do unto ME?” can we see a black God suffering on the cross of racism during an unjust death sentence, as much as we can see a white God in Jesus on the Cross, though in fact, Jesus was brown? Can we see those being killed by racism, experiencing the suffering of The Cross — dying, gasping for breath; alone, where those that love you can only agonizingly look on from a distance?
Where a microscope is needed to see the coronavirus, what lens must we look through to see racism in our country and to check our own hearts? Are we able to be humble and look after the interest of our Black brothers and sisters seeking an equitable society that honors the Image of God within them? Are we, who are White, able to have an attitude of a servant to those who are facing racism by asking how we can help; how we can serve the Image of God within them?
Can we put the interest of people of color feeling safe at every level of society and valuing their life, even above ourselves? What does it mean to love a God who has black children this Father’s Day? This year has been an opportunity to explore what matters to God and what are God matters.
We can do our best to protect the vulnerable and those we love from becoming victims of the near invisible coronavirus while praying for those working on a cure, and we can do even more to protect people of color from the visible realities of racism by calling on ourselves to be the cure and praying for our spiritual healing we need to see and love God in His entirety.
Black Lives Matters — They always have. Our gift to God this Father’s Day can be to acknowledge it. In the Mercy and Grace of Christ, may we heal ourselves and find our Resurrection in God’s Love.