A few weeks ago, I admit, Coronavirus was hardly on my radar. Even once it entered the United States, I wasn’t too concerned. Though having a child with asthma has turned me into a chronic germaphobe, statistics have shown that Coronavirus has little effect on those under the age of fifty. So I didn’t give it much thought. As the virus has gotten closer to home, however, new information has been released. Primarily, a new goal has been instituted. We have been asked, in any way we can, to help slow down community spread of the Coronavirus.
So I’m doing that, best I can.
But I’m also thinking about ways we can spread something other than germs while we are hunkered down in our homes for the next few weeks. How like any other misfortune, Coronavirus has the potential to bring harm, but also the potential to bring about good. Here are three things we actually want to spread during a pandemic:
1)We Can Spread Kindness During the Coronavirus Outbreak
The Coronavirus is taking a legitimate toll on the most vulnerable of our society. Single mothers who can’t go into work because school has been canceled, low income families who rely on free and reduced meals at public schools, lower wage earners who really have nothing saved or stored for a crisis. And of course, devastating outcomes for the elderly and immunocompromised. But those of us NOT in such vulnerable states have a chance to show kindness to all of those who are.
We can do that by:
NOT hoarding supplies above and beyond what we need
Think of the Isrealites in biblical times trying to hoard the daily manna that God provided. What happened? It rotted and was filled with maggots! Perhaps our non-perishables won’t rot, but the principle remains. God wants us to depend on Him for what we need, not on our store of stuff.
We are responsible for our families and it is not wrong to purchase a reasonable amount of food to last a two to three week isolation. But when we have more than enough for today, let’s pray and ask what portion of God’s gifts to us He May want us to share with those less fortunate. Because scripture encourages us to not to look “to (our) own interests but to the interests of others”.
Looking to the Interest of Others
We can further look to the interest of others when we:
- reach out to parents who have childcare needs
- check with local food shelfs on what donations they require
- bring meals or groceries to elderly people so they don’t have go out
- share basic supplies with single parents, and low-income families
- follow prescribed protocol like social distancing, hand washing and staying quarantined if you have symptoms
- In general, just keep an eye out for what community measures of care we can be involved in
Beyond showing kindness to others, Coronavirus offers us a unique opportunity to show kindness to those closest to us. It also allows us more distraction free time to spend with Jesus. We can do this by:
Using the Downtime to Love Our Families and Grow in Christ
With more social distancing and less events and activities to attend, we have a unique opportunity to spend time with our children and spouses. Though we may dread the thought and be tempted to load up Netflix movies by the hour, this ‘forced vacation’ can actually become a time of bonding if we put some effort into it. So think about digging out some board games and art supplies, going for walks or being outside together. Join in children’s play and reading more stories. It could be beautiful.
Additionally, we rarely have this much distraction free time to nurture our relationships with Christ. If two spouses are suddenly home, one can give the other a ‘break’ from watching kids to spend time in the bible. With everyone home more, we can put music on and worship together and share a devotional time we may have been too busy to do before. Opportunities abound! We just have to be creative and intentional.
2)We can Spread Compassion During the Coronavirus Outbreak
This is something I’m just starting to understand, so bear with me. When we first began hearing about the coronavirus, I dismissed all concerns as fear mongering and for the most part ignored them. So if that’s what you’ve been doing too, I get it. But I do have to sincerely apologize for my attitude and admit that it’s simply been my own way to cope with the threat. It’s easier for me to laugh or ignore the people panicking than to sit and listen.
Yet I am learning, that like in most situations, listening is the main way we can spread compassion. Many people are terrified of the impact the Coronavirus is having on the economy, on their loved ones, on their jobs and their children’s education. Though we might not be alarmed, we can be an ear to listen and validate that their feelings are normal. And we can pray for them, without judgement, asking God’s peace to cover and comfort them in their fear.
We can also spread compassion by refraining from joking about the crisis, or belittling those who are struggling. These are common sense measures but with all of the swarming emotions that surround a crisis, it’s good to remind ourselves of this.
3)We Can Spread Hope During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Thankfully, for those who know Jesus, no matter what happens to our health, our loved ones, or the economy…our Hope remains.
We can spread this hope to others by refusing to panic when the rest of the world does. We can spread this hope by spending time meditating on the preservation of our souls in Christ so that the joy and peace we have overflows to others. And we can spread this hope by calling our friends and relatives to pray for them and offer words of encouragement.
Most of all, spreading hope means being prepared to give an answer for the unshakable truth, gospel and security that we’ve been given in Christ.
Christian friend, will you join me in spreading kindness, compassion and hope during this pandemic?
For other ways to Spread Kindness: https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/arts-and-culture/a31480409/coronavirus-how-to-help/