When the Coronavirus has been contained and under control in the weeks, perhaps months, to come – when a vaccine has been discovered in the near future, will we all get back to ‘normal’ and forget (or, at least, push to the back of our minds) the panic, anxiety, death and bereavement we will all have suffered? Will we forget the mounting fear as death tolls rose and the extreme burden placed on medical services – the danger to frontline health care workers as they put their lives at risk on a daily basis? When the shelves in the shops are fully stacked once more, will we remember the worry of how we would cope when faced with empty spaces of food that was once plentiful? Will we remember how some of us were driven to panic buy goods, how disabled and vulnerable people, who were housebound, worried about getting food, and how hospitals grew desperate as supplies diminished?
It’s possible that we might simply overlook the discomforts and dangers and dwell on the good deeds that were done – the heroes that stood out, looking back on this time as the ‘new good old days’ when ‘everyone’ pulled together.
I hope and pray that we don’t forget and that we can all, finally, learn lessons from this, despite the fact that we have missed or overlooked what previous viruses/diseases have shown us.
What kind of world will we have? I pray that we will have one where humankind can live at peace with and have compassion for all the other species we share our planet with. On forming each of his creations, God looked and saw that it was good. In all honesty, I can’t imagine that he intended for animals to end up in the factory farming system, where they are squeezed together in unnatural circumstances, many of whom never see the light of day. I don’t believe that he intended live animals to be shut in cramped cages in markets, with their limbs bound, then taken away to be slaughtered by someone unqualified to do so. These dreadful conditions are perfect for viruses breeding and spreading to other animals, as well as human ones.
People may blame animals for the cause of the virus – they may even dare to blame God for sending it. Isn’t it about time we looked to ourselves to see the damage and chaos we are creating on our beautiful, precious planet. I didn’t want to post gruesome pictures of the factory farming system and wet markets but if you feel inclined to do so, you can google it to see for yourselves just what horror we subject other species to.
We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.William Inge
As our nations recover from this situation, I hope people will think wisely about how these deadly viruses originate and follow the God-given instincts of the human heart to be wise and compassionate in restoring our planet to good health.
Please forgive us for the damage we do to your Creation. Open our minds and our hearts so that we can be wise and compassionate. Help us to be responsible and loving stewards of the land and species which you placed into our care. May we all feel shame and repent for being cruel and negligent, for being a people who are often disobedient and slow to learn. Thank you, Yahweh, for your patience and forgiveness. Thank you for being a loving Father.
In Jesus Name, Amen.