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Fact, Faith, Fear

Yes, our world has narrowed. We have been presented with many conflicting facts that have created great levels of fear for many. Our lives have been turned upside down. And why? All over a little virus that more than 80% of us will likely easily survive. So, what's the big deal? The other 20%- the elderly, immune-compromised? Should they be of great concern? Can a pandemic do all of this? I lived through the Hong Kong Flu, the Swine Virus, and the Ebola Plague and never experienced such pandemonium. It is amazing how such a frenzy can change the every day lives of 320 million citizens in the US alone, not to mention the rest of the world. What are we to think of it? Millions in the US have or are filing for unemployment. 5 months into this pandemic and still schools struggling to reopen along with restaurants, theaters, museums, and many other businesses creating a recession that feared could tilt into a depression . We are asked to flatten the curve by distancing ourselves from others socially by six feet, wear a mask, and wash our hands frequently. All of this truly seemed insane to me and sometimes still does at times, even my 88 year old mother- Esther says she has never seen anything like this in her lifetime. She was on lock down for several months in her senior living home, but has been glued to the TV and reports updates to me daily via phone.

The summer of 2020 promised to bring the sun and heat that would kill the virus. Yet, the opposite seems to be the reality. Now, that we have made it all the way to phase 3 of the reopening plan for many states, it appears we may be moving backwards. Yes, our country made it through the dark days of shut down and the worst decline of the stock market since the Great Depression and finally we were looking for the cloud with a silver lining. The stock market has rebounded. The curve in the Northeast (New York, New Jersey, and Maryland) has appeared to flatten after months of death and darkness . Things appeared to be looking up. Suddenly we see Covid 19 cases skyrocketing in the South- Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California. Deaths continue to rise and once again the community hospitals in the South are dangerously full. This happens after these states had reopened. Now, towards the end of summer it appears that we are closing in on 150,000 deaths and over 4 million Covid cases nationwide.

Sandwiched between these outbreaks somewhere, we experienced the phenomenon of George Floyd. Everyone watching the nine minute video of his death at the hands of brutal Minneapolis police officers was appalled and yes, chaos was bound to happen. It was the perfect storm for the riots to begin. Yes, of course it started out as peaceful, but quickly turned into violence. The radical groups invaded the peaceful protests and we began to see our large city governments lose complete control. Really? Can this be the United States of America many of us grew up in and love? Did anyone think to wear masks and do the social distancing. Not really? No, we did not really want to believe the scientists and epidemiologists who said this pandemic could last for 18 months or longer. No, we really do not want to believe that the violence portrayed on our TV screens could be a real life depiction currently playing out in many of our large cities.

Then there is the question of who do we believe. The differing philosophies and political leanings of media share alternative world views and narratives. Is Covid 19 simply being used for political means? The sadness of these alternative values should not be underestimated. They separate families, friends, political parties and communities, governing entities in city and county townships, state and national leaders. Yet, perhaps the entity most dreadfully impacted by these alternative world views- besides families are communities of faith.

II Tmothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind." NKJV Yet, in today's world, communities of faith have not conquered fear- nor do we see the witness that Christians are acting out of power or love. Please forgive the generality here. I do realize that there is a witness for people of faith. We just may have to dig a bit deeper to find it. Yet looking at the big picture, our churches either blindly accept a specific platform outlined by a popular political position or church leaders do NOT want to get involved in any form of politics. This is a shame for the mere fact that either Christians blindly follow a leader or they stick their heads in the sand and walk away." What should the correct level of response or involvement be for Jesus disciples today? Some have decided to simply file lawsuits against their state or even the federal government, and we even see the Supreme Court getting involved. We live in a social media infested world that specializes more in dramatics than in the TRUTH. In a complex world, how do we dig deeper to find the roots of truth? If you are as interested in the answer to these questions as I am, I invite you to follow me in this blog. I invite your responses, emails, and/or suggestions. We will not always agree. This is the first given. Yet each response will be treated with dignity and respect. If a respondent insists on being hateful or resistant, these responses will simply be respectfully removed and there will be no tolerance for any who are simply wanting to wreak havoc. However, my only rule is to show Christian patience and love no matter the differing positions. I believe that Christians can be a people of faith and power through the power of the Holy Spirit!

I hope you will join me on this journey. If you are a member of the body of Christ, or would like to be, you are welcome to participate.

Sheryl White

Author, Underground Angel

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