A Pastoral Response to Coronavirus

It seems unreal that a couple of months ago many of us had never heard the word coronavirus.Today, that word dominates much of our conversation, our thoughts, even our actions.  I write this as a pastor, not someone with any infectious disease knowledge. You don’t need me to tell you to wash your hands.

Two pieces of news came across almost at the same time last evening. Rudy Gobert, an NBA player with the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus. Shortly after, the NBA suspended its season. Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for the coronavirus in Australia. These two pieces of news, along with The Who’s declaration of a global pandemic, was the tipping point. For those who did not previously take this seriously, they suddenly did. In Indiana, we love our basketball and in America we love Tom Hanks.

What do we do?

First, we pray for those who have lost their lives and who are sick. We pray for those with symptoms, those whose lives may drastically change in short order. We pray for those in the healthcare industry and we pray for our community, state, national leaders and world leaders that they lead with wisdom and lean on those with knowledge in this field.

We also pray for those who live on the margins, those for whom a school cancellation doesn’t just mean a day off from school, but a missed meal, because school is where they are physically fed. It’s often the only place they are physically fed.

There are many of us who typically don’t feel vulnerable that today feel vulnerable. It is a reminder to us that there are people who live on the margins every day, those who health and livelihood is on the line daily, even without a global pandemic.As people of faith, we have a responsibility to people on the margins.

If there is something positive, we can take from this as we move forward it is this: we are all in this together. Even a small act such as washing one’s hands, effects countless numbers of people. We wash our hands not just for ourselves, but for the health and safety of others. We are reminded that our daily actions affect others in ways we can’t possibly begin to imagine. If we can take anything away from this, it is the reminder of just how connected we are despite our spirit of rugged individualism and our attitude that we are only our keeper. We are more connected that we know and we are one another’s keeper.

Grace and peace to you

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