When I was a kid, I was afraid of the dark.
In all honesty, I’m not comfortable with the dark today. I tolerate being alone at night.
I remember fearing monsters in the closet. Not so much under the bed–I always had the top bunk. But the closet held fears that increased as the house became quiet.
I’d situate myself in the exact center of the bed, arms at my side, covered to my chin with a blanket. Even when it was miserably hot–and Chicago nights were notorious for unceasing heat. As long as I was under the blanket, I was safe. I don’t remember giving that covering any superpowers, but I knew it would protect me.
As an adult, I know how foolish that sounds. There are no monsters in the closet. No blankets exist that have the power to protect anybody.
But fear is real. People are experiencing unknown fear because nobody knows how long this self-isolation will last, how long business, as usual, will not be usual, nor how many will be affected by this virus.
The unknown can be frightening.
John and I chose to go to one of the big box stores that had hours designated for different age groups. Fewer people and a chance to get a few odds and ends.
Were we wrong.
We arrived as the store was opening, and the line to get in went two ways–one to the right with the people who were allowed in first, and one to the left with the folks who would be allowed in an hour later.
Social distancing was a joke. Everyone crowded together wanting to get in as soon as they could. We talked to a couple who stood there, debating whether or not they wanted to join the queue, and all of us chuckled at how what was intended to help wasn’t helping at all.
The gentleman said, “They’re all scared because they don’t know when this will end.”
Nobody knows. But God.
There are three different responses to this pandemic.
Some are sneering, if not in word then in action. They aren’t taking social distancing seriously; they don’t see a truth relevant to them and don’t want to be restricted.
Some are intrigued by the reality, and they do what they can but they’re not diligent.
Others are true believers that this is something that must be dealt with dramatically, willing to stay home and keep their distance from others.
These are typically the responses to the reality of God. Some sneer at His relevance to our needs today; others are intrigued but won’t be bothered. Still, others believe. They will find His peace.
At a time when fear blankets our nation, our world, because of a tangible enemy, a virus no one can defeat at this time, it makes sense to consider an answer that will bring a sense of peace and wholeness in spite of illness, shortages, lack of job security, and fear.
Knowing God through His Son Jesus brings a sense of calm that can’t be shaken or taken.
And no one has to stand in line for it.