“When an enemy enters the room, feuding brothers cease to fight.”
I lack the source or exact wording, but this quote has never been more fitting. An enemy has entered the room: COVID-19.
Neither the name nor disease have been around long, but this new, invisible viral enemy, conniving as it is unpredictable, has us firmly in its grip.
Along with all of the horrifying negatives of this silent foe, however, some positives have become evident. One being, since the enemy has indeed entered the room, there’s no more place for division. None. Nada. We’re in this together.
At the beginning of the month, we were still duking it out over politics, not to mention a host of other things that had separated us brothers and sisters. Remember those days? Well, they’re gone – or should be. They no longer matter. This relentless enemy, though it’s wreaked havoc and will continue to, has done us one huge favor in knocking out our familial in-fighting.
We had become so sadly at odds with one another. Something had to bring us back together. I’m not suggesting God caused this. I’m one who believes God doesn’t bring death and destruction, but rather, with free will firmly in place, lets humanity make its choices, allowing us to self-destruct on our own. But when we humble ourselves and appeal to him, he promises unfailing accompaniment, grace and mercy, especially when we repent.
And by the way, that’s another thing our enemy has prompted: the realization that, for most, there’s still time to turn to our loving Father. But the window is closing. For some, it already has. I don’t believe fear should be the reason we come to God, but the fear many of us feel now can be a wake-up call to remember things we know deep down.
God is real. This life can be hard. In fact, it’s mostly hard, with times of reprieve and joy sprinkled in. But another, better life awaits, and if we let God lead, we will enjoy the abundant life and the promises to come.
I want to say something while I still can, because we really don’t know, do we? Each day, each moment, is truly in God’s hands. To those who have prayed for and stood by me in times of discord, thank you; I am praying for you. To those who have seen me or those with whom I’m connected as the enemy, I am praying for you, too. All is forgiven. We are human, and there’s still time to love.
Matthew 10:28 implores us to not be afraid of what can kill the body but not the soul. Let’s strengthen our souls and turn to God. Let’s join hands and face this silent foe together, remembering who we are, and whose we are, relinquishing our arms and being merciful to one another.
The time has come to reunite. God be with you all as we face the hard things to come.
[For the sake of having a repository for my newspaper columns and articles, I reprint them here, with permission, a week after their run date. The preceding ran in The Forum newspaper on March 29, 2020.]