A while back I was asked to deliver a short address to a small group of people including a few local public officials. It was around the time that Haiti was devastated by the terrible earthquake, taking the lives of tens of thousands of Haitians in the process.
One of the issues that were center stage at the time was how best to get resources to the people who needed them the most.
There were many ideas during the time as to how best to execute getting critical much-needed food, medicine & equipment for shelter to the suffering people.
I thought about the ideas a lot but the one component that seemed to be the problem solver was not mentioned at all.
It was the four-letter word “LOVE”.
Well-intentioned people can give all of the money, food, and equipment needed in a time of crisis, but as long as there is no love in the heart of those handling the efforts, all those resources generally end up in the wrong hands, and with money pouring from it into the wrong pockets.
Those who remember those events may attest to just how badly those resources were handled after that earthquake.
Today we are faced with a crisis of a different nature. This time, it is not one country facing a crisis while everyone else looks on.
This time it is a crisis where all of us are at risk, all of us are vulnerable.
There are no those people over there.
We are all God’s people facing a crisis together.
Given our instincts to immediately default to panic, this pandemic offers an opportunity for introspection, an opportunity for demonstrating love & caring toward each other.
This time the victims are not hundreds or thousands of miles away, they are all around us, we are the victims, we are all at risk.
As tragic as the deaths and the horror stories are, they offer us the unique opportunity to be of help to our neighbors. No deed is too small to matter in times of crisis.
Not all of us will emerge on the other side of this, nevertheless, when this shall have ended, there will be books written about the tremendous opportunities for the rebirth this pandemic offered. They will talk about those who took advantage of those opportunities.
Out of the sulphuric ashes and lava spilled from an angry volcano, rises a beautiful forest filled with life and promise.
How we emerge from this event may depend on how we treat each other.
Whether we survive or thrive may depend on whether we panic or we fall back and see the hand of God in every event.