All of us are still stunned at the rapidity of what’s befallen us. New vocabulary phrases like “COVID19” and “Coronavirus” and “shelter-in-place” have become common nomenclature. We shudder at the rising statistics of those effected. We balk at something less than 6’ of space.
The pandemic. So is the glass “half-empty” or “half-full”?
Here’s the truth. Beyond the rising infection numbers, despite the many who have passed from this life, there is an incredible swell of loving, sacrificial response among those whom God continues to give breath and days, a surge of radical generosity flowing through networks of relationships.
Here’s why the “glass is half-full.”
First, the Christ Community Church family has immediately responded to one another, making sure that we stay connected through video meeting programs, chat rooms, and social media. Small groups have found a way to stay close, assess needs, share Scripture and pray. Our leadership teams have “met” to pray and plan for the months, even a year, ahead. Our staff meetings have been remarkably affectionate and passionate. Whatever hindrance Satan thought he might effect through this scourge is being overcome with hope and connection.
It reminds me of what Paul said to believers when he was forced to be away from them:
But since we were torn away from you brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face…for you are our glory and joy
—1 Thessalonians 2:17,20
Way to go, family!
Second, there has been a broader Ames/Story County community response toward those who are on the “front lines,” an evidence of the generous, common grace of God. This week I spoke with a Mary Greeley hospital official who, as I called to offer our church’s help to supply anything hospital workers need, told me of the outpouring. Restaurants offering free meals, construction companies calling to offer any needed construction of temporary medical care spaces, people who sew laboring to make an extra supply of masks, others with 3-D printing capacities offering what they could. “It has been wonderfully overwhelming,” Gary said.
And yes…Christ Community Church is on the list to be called when help in future weeks is needed. We will be ready to be generous.
The Apostle John said it.
By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in Him. Little children, let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and truth
—1 John 3:16-18
Way to fill the glass, Christ Community family! The love of God in you! Keep it up!! Make an extra call or two to one another. Encourage. Love. Meet a need. Pray together. Let’s be Jesus’ body in a world which needs to see our hope and joy.
And…“see you” Sunday morning…online!