Why we need lament: because no matter the bitter partisanship we have devolved to, we are nearing 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus. These are lives lost. Young to old. Poor to rich. Across all ethnic lines. These are lives to remember. These represent families with deep loss in this time of pandemic.
The New York Times put the names of those lost on their front page this weekend. We lament lives lost. We lament with the families who remain.
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.)
I’m starting to see people post how many days they’ve had “stay at home orders” in the U.S. I’m also seeing more and more apocalyptic prophecies from the fundamentalist corner of American Christianity… so some coronavirus vaccine shot will soon be the mark of the beast or something before too long.