the weather for memorial day weekend here in seattle was absolutely gorgeous (although as a native, i am required to inform you that it rains all the time here!) people were out at the parks and lakes; others got the bbqs out; there were many folks out on their boats. summer has begun.
life is back to normal. or is it?
maybe i had gotten used to seeing the covid developments on the news over this past year so now the shift is on. back to regular life. but something does not seem quite right. where did all that covid info on the local news go? it has actually become somewhat self congratulatory. we are doing great now! on the world news, there might be a ten second snippet about what is happening in india or vietnam with covid. and i’ll think, “that is just awful! give us more info.” then, i’ll have to search it out on the internet.
as big as the usa is, we are still less than five percent of the world’s population.
don’t get me wrong– i have been just as tired with the lockdown/restrictions/gloomy news as the next person. i am thankful to have received the vaccine. i am thankful that a major portion of our population– especially vulnerable people like my mother– are vaccinated too. just because seattle and the usa are moving in the right direction does not mean that the danger is over.
but the old cliche holds true: out of sight out of mind. covid is over now so let’s get back to normal life. memorial day weekend feels like our covid emancipation from staying home, social distancing and masks.
but covid is a pandemic that is affecting the whole world. because of the way we travel globally now, as long as it exists somewhere in the world, it can affect anyone. perhaps my life as a claretian has affected my vision of things: so many of my brothers are from india and africa. when i think of covid, i think that those who are dying might be part of their families.
there’s a bumper sticker that i rarely see on peoples’ cars there days but it is one of my all time favorites: think globally; act locally. most of us do not have the power nor position to act anything but locally. responding to my life comes naturally. but our thoughts affect how we act. to think globally requires a will, care, effort and bigger vision.
but without a personal connection, it is harder to care what happens to “those” people. they speak differently, have different cultural ways and do not look like me– why should i care? when it comes to bad news, we can think, “at least it’s not happening to me and my family.” so we go on with life: thinking locally and acting locally.
jesus focused us on the primacy of love of God and neighbor. his ministry then expanded the way we ought to see who is our neighbor. through jesus’ life and actions samaritans, women, public sinners and even enemies were met with love. in action not just intent. the Holy Spirit continues to expand this kind of love in the world– the Spirit stretches our vision of who our neighbor is, even now.
i hope that our thoughts go far beyond ourselves, household and neighborhood. i hope that the care we have for one another is not limited to just those who speak my own language. i pray that the vaccine gets to the people who need it most and that greed does not hinder its distribution. i pray that we do all we can to love our neighbors– even the ones we have never and will never meet. i pray that we all care enough to defeat covid all over the world.
Being in Texas and having a governor who is lifting the mask mandate on June 4, I often “joke” with my friends…Haven’t you heard? The pandemic is over! (Which of course, if far from the truth!)
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yes– some regions are more challenging than others… stay safe!
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