Parallel epidemic

Luke 20: 41—21:4: He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.’
A sociologist/physician suggests that the fear and grief of experiences like the pandemic “can themselves be contagious, forming a kind of parallel epidemic.” Threat of the virus causes spiritual and emotional afflictions which can be passed from one sufferer to another.
All of us are vulnerable to that ‘parallel epidemic,’ so it is critical for us to find ways to care for one another. On a given day, one person will struggle while another person, doing better, will have a bit of strength to offer in help. We have to remember to try to help others while also being willing to ask for their help when needed.
Like the poor widow in Jesus’ story, I have to be prepared to give even out of my poverty: spiritual and emotional. When I discern joy and hope—no matter how small—I honor God by offering those gifts to other people. In terms of emotional health, right now most of us suffer emotionally. I may not have an abundance of confidence and hope today, but I have enough to give.
I have enough to help others fight, with me, the ‘parallel epidemic.’

Psalms 16, 17; Isaiah 3: 8-15; 1 Thessalonians 4: 1-12
Copyright 2020 by Carol Mead.  For noncommercial use and sharing only.

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