The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
“How are you?” The most common question that I get asks when I first meet someone. The difficulty is that the answer isn’t easy or simple. “Fine” is sometimes a lie. The reason being, that behind all of our facades – there is often trouble, pain, uncertainty & anxiety. Bernard Levin, previously the editor of the Times newspaper expressed it like this:
Countries like ours are full of people who have all of the material comforts they desire, yet lead lives of quiet (and at times noisy) desperation, understanding nothing but the fact that there is a hole inside them and that however much food and drink they pour into it, however many motorcars and television sets they stuff it with, however many well-balanced children and loyal friends they parade around the edges of it. . . it aches!
It aches. The inside is aching. Here about this in Psalm 42:
1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’
He is searching for God, like a thirsty deer looking for water, because his tears have been his food day and night – he hasn’t stopped crying.
For you, the answer to the question “How are you?” may well be, “If I’m honest, not that good.” Your tears flow when no-one is looking.
Does this psalm offer any help? Yes – in the psalm the writer decides to take his soul to task. He tells his soul to put its trust in God:
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.
The honest answer may well be that you are not doing that well. These feelings can overwhelm us. Let’s follow the example of the writer of Psalm 42 and tell ourselves to hope in God, to praise God. It doesn’t fix everything (you only have to read on in the psalm to see that it is still a struggle) – but it points us to the one place where we can have hope – even in our tears.
May God bless you today. Love Matt