In reflecting on all of the impacts to Covid-19, the list of people suffering is enough to fill all the space we should have between us right now. One good in all of it is the impact on the earth itself. I listen to news stories about the air quality in China being so good, there are blue skies over Beijing. And in New Delhi, the temples are visible without any smug or dirt in the sky. While humanity stays inside, Mother Nature is flourishing.
In Romans 8, Paul wrote about the world groaning in the pains of childbirth, waiting for God’s redemption. Now we are the ones all groaning and waiting for a miracle somewhere between dignity and medicine to break through. When I think about how long the world has been waiting, it makes the past four weeks sheltering-in-place seem insignificant.
This is a hard time, for everyone in different ways. In my better moments, I am able to think of this season like the story of Joseph, who was thrown into a well and then sold into slavery by his brothers. They were jealous of the younger brother who was his father’s favorite. Years later, after slavery and imprisonment, Joseph rose to a position of authority in Egypt. His brothers traveled there. during a drought, not knowing that Joseph was alive and about to hold their fate in his hands.
Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid. Do I act for God? Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people. Easy now, you have nothing to fear; I’ll take care of you and your children.” He reassured them, speaking with them heart-to-heart.
The hard things happening right now, even some of the evil ones, can and will be used for good. Community members are supporting one another in creative ways. Friends are remaining connected through technology that was previously just used for political sniping. And true values are being discovered as “wants” give space to “needs.”
There is good in all of this, somewhere.
Look at the picture that started this blog. There is a bee hidden among the flowers. To find it, and to make it through this season, you will have to take some time and be still.
It is not okay right now. And it will be okay. We are living in-between.