No one has a love greater than this, that he lays down his life for his friends.
(John 15:13 ULB)
There is an old term, an acronym, for what is going on in our country: FUD–Fear Uncertainty & Doubt. On the surface the source for this is the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease COVID19–also known as Wuhan flu. Certainly most people are reacting to what they have heard and seen of this disease. It is equally certain that good information about it is largely hard to determine. This is the uncertainty. The uncertainty stems from the fact that we no longer trust the institutions in which we have placed our trust: government and the news media. This in turn brings the doubt: doubt that we can trust anyone; doubt that we should trust anyone. Regardless of the true virulence and deadliness of this virus, the FUD is deadly to us as a people, a culture, and a nation.
In the town I live in and across the country, people are reacting with panic–wildly buying food, cleansers, sanitizers, anything they think might help them survive. In so doing, we generate the shortages that we think are sure to happen. We’re doing the same thing with our medical institutions: clinics, hospitals, doctors offices, thus draining this vital resource that will be necessary to treat those who are critically affected by the disease.
These things exemplify raw cowardice. We are portraying ourselves to be a nation of cowards. A nation of men, who rather than saying “women and children first”, is collectively saying “to hell with anyone but me”. It is disgusting, perverted, and the most un-American thing I have seen or heard of in my lifetime. Even worse it is the most un-Christian thing I have seen happen in this nation.
Men, Christ calls us to courage–the courage to lay our lives down for our neighbor in service of Him. You’re concerned about supplies of food and essentials, fine. You’re concerned about the spread of the virus and think maybe you and yours should hunker down at home, fine. Order and pay for it online and pick it up or have it delivered. Make sure you’re the only one in your family going to the store and then segregate yourself at home. Take prudent precautions to protect your family. But stop selfishly buying and hoarding. That shows your hatred of your neighbor, particularly the vulnerable, the elderly and the chronically ill. But courage has to go beyond this.
This virus may sputter out or it may balloon and kill millions in this country. We don’t know and we won’t know until it is past. But we do know these things: healthcare workers are being overworked and overwhelmed. They’re going to need help to keep going. In the worst case, they’re going to be decimated by the virus as they lay their lives down for all of us.
What can we do? We can start by praying, crying out to God for mercy on us and them. We can see if there is any aid we can give them. Maybe bringing food and water and dropping it off. Entrepreneurs can look at ways to make sanitizer more abundant, make masks more abundant, make replacement parts onsite in hospitals for equipment using 3D printing. We’ll have to make inquiries locally on what we can do to ease the burden of our healthcare system. In so doing we exercise courage, because some of us will be affected by the virus, some of us may die of the virus. But that’s what men do: it’s part of why the Lord made us men. We protect the lives of those around us.
We also can help by helping the elderly in our neighborhoods. They’re the most vulnerable to this disease. Pickup and deliver their groceries. Make sure they’ve got electricity and water. Make sure someone is keeping an eye on them. This is the type of situation where wolves come out to prey upon the vulnerable–there needs to be shepherds to look out for the flock.
Truckers are being taxed–that means loaders at the docks are being taxed. Our whole logistical system is being taxed. There are going to be a myriad of needs and as men we need to rise to the occasion. As Christians it is not enough to pray, as necessary as that is. The apostle James speaks of the folly of using prayer as mere sentiment–praying for starving, freezing people to be warmed and fed, rather than feeding and clothing them.
We’ve got to show our love by our actions. We’ve got to take our love to the very limit of laying our lives down for our friends, our neighbors. Maybe none of the ways I’ve mentioned are practical. I don’t care. We’ve got to face this situation and quit ourselves like men.
It’s time for ending FUD.
It’s time for courage.