Thanks to COVID-19, we’re living in conditions that are almost unprecedented for many of us. Large swathes of the globe are living under the types of restrictions that many countries haven’t seen since the Second World War.
Students of history might be seeing additional parallels between the current pandemic and conditions during World War II. They might be calling to mind right now Winston Churchill’s famous line from a speech he delivered to the UK House of Commons in June of 1940, shortly after he became Prime Minister:
“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say: ‘This was their finest hour.’ ”
Amid the news reports of hoarding and panic-buying, there are also some uplifting examples of people rising to the occasion and showing care and kindness to others.
Allow me to share with you some accounts of what may be some people’s “finest hour”:
—people babysitting the children of health-care workers who are pulling extra shifts at hospitals
—shout-outs and gratitude for health-care workers: mass applause from windows and balconies across Europe, and online concerts in their honour
—some NBA players donating money to support arena workers who will miss out on income during the closures
—people bringing groceries to elderly or quarantined neighbours, plus walking their dogs or fetching prescriptions for them
—distilleries and perfume factories switching over their production from spirits and scent to hand sanitizer
—hotels opening up otherwise empty rooms for the homeless to stay in and be able to self-isolate
—musicians and singers live-streaming free online concerts for those shut in their homes
—people offering to have a chat over the phone or Skype with strangers who may be feeling lonely or frightened
—children putting on street concerts outside the homes of elderly neighbours on lockdown
Sometimes the worst times can bring out the best in us. I encourage everyone, as you are able to and while still practicing social distancing, to do what you can during this pandemic to help others, even if it’s just a phone call to an isolated neighbour.
If you’re a fellow Christian, I have a special message for you:
This is a time of great fear and uncertainty. Many people are scared right now, and will only grow more frightened as the pandemic spreads and job losses mount.
Calls to mental-health crisis lines have skyrocketed recently. There are people praying now who’ve never prayed before in their lives. I believe Christians have a special responsibility during times of crisis to not only serve others in practical ways, but also to minister to their emotional and spiritual needs.
So be ready to share the good news of God’s love with others, who may be filled with fear and may not know Christ. Hold out the Word of Life to those who feel hopeless. Use this opportunity to encourage non-believers to put their trust in God.
Tell people of the rock-solid hope you have in Christ. Tell them of your confidence that no matter what happens, you have the assurance of eternal life in Christ.
As Christians, our hope isn’t build on our good health or on a strong economy. Our security lies in Christ alone, who defeated death forever.
As the old hymn goes:
“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”
If you’re a Christian, don’t be afraid during this pandemic: be of good courage, trust in God, and share the gospel with others.
This may be your finest hour.
© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.