I watched a documentary last night and I woke up unable to shake off the heaviness. It was about COVID-19, of course. Surely the movie was meant to stir emotions with dramatic music and intense testimonies. But the reality is: this should be pretty heavy.
Yes, people already die on a regular basis from a wide variety of causes, but this is a noteworthy health crisis: in a small window of time a particular virus is sweeping across our world, we are finding containment a difficult task, and despite the efforts of hard-working medical professionals, a percentage of the population is dying. More accurately, people are dying. Even if you’re convinced COVID-19 is no worse than the typical flu, we are reminded more than ever that sickness and death (and therefore suffering and sadness) are the reality of this present broken world.
And the documentary brought this reality to life more than ever. Reason being, I saw the real faces of scared people. I saw actual dead bodies lying on the ground in random locations (the documentary was mostly about China). I saw the raw response of people dealing with death and fear. I got a glimpse into what it looks like for others to be locked up in their homes (not quite as comfortably as many of us). Sure there’s been far greater seasons of suffering on our planet, but it’s sobering to think this suffering is people’s reality right now.
And that wake-up call stands in stark contrast to my present experience with the Coronavirus — which is much more sanitized (no pun intended), and dare I say, spoiled.
Maybe you feel like I do… most of our dealings with the Coronavirus revolve around shopping for all the things we’d like to have in our homes in case we’re officially quarantined. And our conversations mostly revolve around the inconveniences of cancellations or the disappointments of not being able to do whatever we want. We all tend to focus on what life will be like as we wait this thing out. Don’t get me wrong, those elements all matter (please have food in your home!), but I wonder if we too easily get sucked into thinking through this crisis selfishly.
I know the solution for me (to keep me from overly focusing on my own experience) is to pray more. And not just pray for myself and my loved ones— to specifically pray more for the world at large.
To pray that God will somehow use this for good in the lives of everyone affected.
Let’s pray that God will turn people to him before it’s too late.
Pray for those who are grieving.
Pray for those most at risk in your church, community, and the world.
Pray for medical personnel living out the worst of all of this. Many of which end up putting their own health at risk.
Pray for everyone who endangers themselves to help people in need. Pray God would spare them from becoming a carrier (or another statistic).
Pray for those who’s isolation is nothing like our experience — as we sit in comfortable homes with all types of modern conveniences.
Pray for those who truly feel isolated during these long days.
Pray for those who are now facing financial hardship, and pray for single parents who are navigating these tough times alone.
Pray for leaders of all types who are trying to make the best decisions they can for their people. And pray they make good ones.
Pray our character, and the character of our children will be molded through this odd time of life. May the world be a better place later on because the younger generation becomes a bit stronger, more selfless, and less fragile. May children in Christian homes learn what it looks like to be a people who really trust God and pray during crisis.
There is so much to pray for. And in so many ways, that really should be our focus.
Let’s call out to God, asking his will to be done during this mess we find ourselves in. And because we pray more, perhaps we will see this all from a bigger perspective— we will look far beyond our own pantries and plans and preferences, and we will remember that life is very heavy for many people right now. Let’s make a difference by calling on the One who’s sovereign over it all.