Bruce's Blog


Pandemic Perspective - Part One

April 13th, 2020

Executive Director Dr. Bruce Roller shares his thoughts on living during a time of pandemic in this four-part series of short, two minute videos. 

Life or death

Everything changes with a new perspective even if none of the circumstances change. In the Hebrew Scriptures, we read that the Israelites were set a life or death choice. They were encouraged to choose life that they might live.

Today the coronavirus and COVID-19 set before us limited choices. According to people who know the only way to slow the spread of this debilitating and often fatal disease is to physically distance ourselves from other people. Stay home and save lives.

Even those who do the best we can to remain cloistered to help to slow the devastation of this illness are not exempt. A lot of people have already contracted this illness. Too many have died.

To hear some people talk one would think that choosing to distance ourselves is choosing death. The temporary suspension of dining out or skipping some doctor appointments, postponing a celebration or meeting virtually for church services, is NOT death. This may be the only way to prevent a lot of unnecessary deaths.

Let’s insert a change of perspective here. This temporary denial of one of our most basic needs—community—can give rise to life, not just in the literal sense. By reaching out in innovative ways, we may actually begin to share our lives with more people more often than before. Churches that are live-streaming their worship times are reaching three or four times more people than would be in their building. Friends from far as well as near can share in worship with one another. Notecards and phone visits and ZOOM meetings are reaching more people more intimately than ever. How many phone calls I have made and received in the past few weeks begin with, “I’m just calling to check in on you.”?

These life-giving no-touch touches and virtual hugs proliferate in the midst of—even because of—this horrifying worldwide pandemic.

How many times have you said or heard lately, “we’re all in this together”? With a little shift in perspective, we can find life in the midst of death, encouragement in a time of worldwide fear, boldness instead of blame-placing.

Friends of ours had a movie-themed ZOOM meeting with their scattered children and grandchildren last week. Dressed like MARY Poppins, James Bond, Princess Leah and several superheroes, this extended family played together and bonded during these uncertain times.

Yes, this pandemic means death to many, some of them dear to us, maybe even some of us, but for many of us it can be a portal into whole new ways of sharing life.

For today, choose life for yourself, safety for your families and co-workers, emotional bonding in the face of physical distancing. For today, protect yourself and prevent infecting others. The life you save may be someone you love.  Stay safe; stay home; stay well.




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