We are in the midst of the most widespread societal upheaval that many people alive today have ever experienced. Already our institutions, habits, relationships, and culture are shifting before our eyes. Frank M. Snowden, author of Epidemics and Society, shared with the New Yorker, “Epidemics are a category of disease that seem to hold up the mirror to human beings as to who we really are.” The question we are facing is not whether we will experience sorrow and change; the question is how. As biblical prophets walked with people through catastrophes, their advice was never to just endure until it ends. Instead they focused on proactively changing relationships with each other and with God. (More on this article HERE.)
When we live our lives exposed as we do on social media, we find an emptiness that is magnified. We have so much noise in our lives and the pandemic has forced us to slow down… to “quiet” ourselves in a way… and that quiet that should have done some good work has unnerved us. We don’t like the inward look. It frightens us.
We are less prepared than ever to come out of a crisis. This is the exposure the Holy Spirit has been working on the American culture for decades. It was ripped open on 9/11. It was magnified again in major disasters like Katrina in 2005. The financial crisis of 2008. The election of 2016. Now… this.
This is not all bad news. Our problem is we can’t take bad news very well. The need of the hour is to take the Holy Spirit’s diagnosis and do something with it. We don’t have to dive into deeper despair. We can ask for the work of the Spirit to finally be done IN us. Us. Not the other person… US. Not our enemy… US. Not in the opposite political ideological stream… US.
We are not ready to come out of this pandemic doing well. The good news is… we can be ready if we will yield to the work of the Spirit.