Life is temporarily changing as the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) grows. Schools, libraries, park districts, churches, restaurants and some businesses are closing. Travel is restricted. Social distancing is a new word in our vocabulary as fear spreads. How should you respond in the midst of this national crisis?
1. Don’t panic – participate
With new news being released by the hour, fear and uncertainty rises. Fear naturally causes you to turn inward. You worry about your health, family, job, business, investments and more. The natural reaction is to protect yourself. As a Christ follower, can I encourage you to see the coronavirus as an opportunity to turn outward? Nothing speaks greater peace than compassionate demonstrations of love for neighbor.
Historically Christ followers have led in compassionate care of the suffering. Earlier pandemics witnessed a practical theology of care, sacrifice and community. Martin Luther refused to retreat from the black death pandemic. Christianity spread because we were known for our compassionate care of others. Moments of crisis are always moments of opportunity.
Compassionate Care Campaign
You have the opportunity to combat corona with compassion. You can be a good Samaritan by showing compassion to a neighbor in need. Here’s how:
- Do you know someone in your life who is older, isolated or alone? Call them. We are organizing teams of volunteers to call five clients to encourage them in this time of crisis. While most calls will leave a message, that personal care means everything. Sign up here and we will send you names, numbers and a script to help you show compassion to your vulnerable neighbor.
- If you are an attorney, speak Spanish or like to pray and care for people, we have an opportunity for you. As the need for service grows in times of crisis, we are arranging appointments by phone or zoom. An attorney provides important guidance while an advocate provides important care and prayer. We will train and provide everything you need. E-mail [email protected].
- You have much compared to the world. Crisis can create a mindset of scarcity. Don’t let it. Our low-income vulnerable neighbors will be stretched in this time. Help them. $30 provides clarity to overwhelming legal confusion. Support one neighbor. Maybe you can support more. Thank you.
2. Don’t Panic – pray
Doing justice is about loving mercy and walking humbly with God. You can demonstrate mercy through compassionate care of neighbors in need. You can walk humbly through prayer. We cannot control the coronavirus. We can mitigate its harm, but in the end, we must pray to the God who can defeat this virus.
The coronavirus is a wonderful reminder we are all vulnerable. This is the time to thank God for His provision for you, to trust Him for your future, and to reach out in compassionate care for others. Together we can live out Zechariah 7:9,
“This is what the Lord Almighty said, ‘Administer true justice, show mercy and compassion to one another.”
3. Don’t panic – plan
Christ followers know God is still in control. Some see the virus as divine judgment, others as a distant God not concerned over day to day events. How about you? The Bible is clear that God does not cause injustice nor is he indifferent to it. He cares and so should we.
Individuals should know the symptoms, follow the CDC, and self-quarantine. Older individuals and those with lung or other underlying health issues should seek testing. Businesses should create a response plan. Our statement is available at administerjustice.org/corona and will be regularly updated.
As businesses are impacted, many workers will lose jobs or pay. This reality will have a cascading impact increasing fear and confusion. This is why it is important to come together around a compassionate care campaign.