Of recent date, many of the painful and fear-producing things we have experienced have become a shock treatment to our familiar and assumed reality. A pandemic made an entire culture fearful and jumpy. Anarchy seems to have been given free rein by those entrusted with our security. Our divided nation has become encampments of narrow and entrenched opinions. And now for those of us out West, entire cities have been wiped off the map in a day. The only thing things remaining in these devastated communities are smoldering ruins and people who have lost hope.
These issues have filled our minds 24/7. The shallow and sometimes foolish interpretations we had in the past regarding the stability of life got a quick and shocking reality check. In that on-going reality check, I have noticed a change in perspective taking place.
– Life has taken on new meaning and value.
– Cops are our friends, not our enemy.
– Politics will never be the answer to what ails us.
– Protecting loved ones in tangible ways took on new meaning.
– Neighbors became friends, rebuilding a new life together.
When this painful season ends, a new community ethic will emerge. People will have experienced God as a faithful and tender Father, not a complicated theology known only to an elite few. Simplicity will have retaken its rightful place as one of our most valued possessions because everything else will have failed the test. The brightness of our future will be reflected off that simplicity much like a veteran returning from conflict on foreign soil to embrace family, home, and friends in a new way. God will not waste the painful impact of these recent days if we choose to not waste our sorrows.