Is COVID making us more loving? Or more hating? That question came to mind yesterday. I had a half-hour inside an MRI tube with nothing to do, and this is where my mind went. At first, I was thinking about the folks working so I can get my MRI to see how my cancer is doing. They risk getting sick, and even maybe dying, to take care of us. And most people would say they appreciate that.
So COVID makes us more loving, right? But does it really? If we truly loved and cared about our medical workers, first responders, and even the admin people in hospitals and care centers, then we’d act differently. We’d wear a mask in public. We’d avoid large gatherings. Why? Because those things lead to fewer people being sick. And that, in turn, leads to fewer people requiring medical care. Obviously, or at least it should be obvious, all of those things lead to fewer medical people being exposed to COVID, getting sick, and possibly dying.
In that light, is COVID making you more loving?
Is COVID making us more loving?
Then I was thinking about other essential workers that maybe we don’t care about so much, although I can’t understand why not. People like farmworkers. If not for them, we’d all be starving. Well, except maybe for the doomsday preppers who have tons of dried and canned food stored up. Yum yum. NOT!
But even as I write this, I know why some (many?) don’t care so much about them. They aren’t white. Many are migrant workers. Some number aren’t here legally. And too many Americans are taught by their political party and it’s leaders that non-white non-citizens don’t matter. That they should be jailed and deported. Even that they don’t deserve medical care or any kind of assistance. Even though they are responsible for the very food that keeps us alive!
Again, is COVID making you more loving? Or is it actually making you more hating?
Aren’t they essential? If you don’t think so, try eating only food that wasn’t processed by them, if you can even find it. Or just don’t eat for a week. Then see if they’re essential. See if you think they’re worth having here.
And what about those, who don’t really need to be mentioned, who keep calling this the “China virus”? Sorry, but that’s meant in a very racist way. Yes, it started in China. However, it first came to the U.S. by way of Europe. That’s seldom mentioned. I guess there’s too many people of European descent here to try and generate a “blame them” kind of hate, a la Adolf Hitler.
Tell me, when that happens, does COVID make us more loving? Or is someone willing to admit it makes us more hating?
Love your enemy, unless you have a good reason not to?
When Jesus told us to love our enemies, did He have any exclusions? Like, did He ever say it was OK to hate someone if we had a good reason? Let’s take a look.
Love for Enemies
Mt 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Gee – it doesn’t look like it. It’s not OK to hate people who aren’t the same color as us, or who don’t have as good a job as us, or happen to be here looking for a better opportunity in life. And it’s not OK to hate someone, even if something like COVID happens to come from the country they, or their ancestors, came from.
It’s just plain weird to hate the people who bring us food. It’s misplaced anger when we’re mad at an entire race for something none of them as individuals were responsible for. Further, it’s thoughtless and quite uncaring to let those other biases lead to sickness and death for people we claim to care about!
Conclusion – Is COVID making us more loving? Or more hating?
Jesus concluded His statement on loving our enemies with:
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Being perfect isn’t easy. In fact, in this life, it’s impossible.
And yet, as Christians, we’re called to do our best to get as close to that goal as possible. Not through our own strength, but through the strength and power of the Holy Spirit.
We are not supposed to try to use the cover of Christianity to hate others. We are supposed to use the power that comes from God when we become Christians to do as Jesus did. To love everyone. Jesus even forgave the very people who crucified Him. Would we do that? We should.
I could add so many more examples of how we’re becoming less loving and more hating.
COVID is certainly making me think about how I live my life. Whether or not the things I do really back up what I claim to believe.
So what about you?
Is COVID making you more loving? Or more hating?