The current Coronavirus quarantines are unprecedented in human history . . . and if ever something could be described as being surreal, this is it. Words are pinging in my mind of a memorized poem, “…suddenly there came a tapping, As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. ’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door— Only this and nothing more.”1
Surely a villain has rapped at our door and threatens to break it down. Yet I hear something . . . I hear something else vying for the same space as the villain.
Opportunity is also knocking on my chamber door, quoth the raven “nevermore”. Permit me to break this down with an analogy: my three sons played baseball and Amy played softball. As the proud mother who washed their white uniform pants, I was thrilled to find the best stain remover for the red infield dirt. Why, I told everyone in the homefield baseball stands about Soilove! ~ So, if I was that altruistic about stain remover, I simply cannot miss this once-in-a-lifetime knocking at my door just now.
You see, as a Christian, I have the peace, hope and assurance in my heart and mind that everyone else is clamoring for just now. Consider this promise: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified . . . for the Lord your God goes with you. he will never leave you or forsake you."2 Your attention: God has not left the building.
The beautiful thing about the character of God is that he doesn’t footnote his promises with exemptions! God does not stutter, neither does he talk under his breath. He speaks plainly--no games, no politics, no hidden agenda. You and I have the great opportunity to share his straightforward, magnanimous love with those we meet.
“Plagues [such as the current worldwide pandemic] intensify the natural course of life. They intensify our own sense of mortality and frailty. They also intensify opportunities to display countercultural, counter-conditional love.”3
The early Church modeled caring for one another during severe persecution under the heavy hand of Rome (so rough a time for believers that Nero used Christians as human torches). May we continue the legacy of Christ followers who have gone before us in loving those around us well.
At this time, we are all on a level playing field; what we are facing is no respecter of race or religion or economic status. May we rise up--to serve and to love . . . to be well and do well I’m ready. Someone sent me a text message yesterday: “can you give me some verses to read so that I will not be so afraid?” Yes . . . yes, I can! Immediately, I spoke the message into my phone, “Read Psalm 91: He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings, you will find refuge.” I have stood at the waterfalls, looking into the caves where David penned these beautiful words, hiding from Saul at Ein Gedi, (Israel). I can only imagine the birds above that gave him the picture of strong wings, the covering of feathers and the soft down beneath.
Paul wrote that we ought to make the most of every opportunity.4 Opportunity? Because less is required of so many of us—this may be a time to: ~Offer to lend a hand ~Spend a little more time in prayer ~Play a game with family members or friends ~Ask a stranger how she is really doing, ready to listen, prepared to be part of a solution Write a letter or send a greeting card . . .
This is a time for meaningful conversations as opportunity is knocking at our doors – to love well and share God’s grace with others. Open the door!
Christine Todd DiGiacomo 1 – “The Raven” Edgar Allan Poe 2 – Deuteronomy 31.6 3 - Responding to Pandemics: Four lessons from Church History, Glen Scrivener,m Gospel Coalition, March 16, 2020 4 – Ephesians 5.16a 5 -1 Thessalonians 5.11