by Sr Julie Myers, OSF
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is on everyone’s mind and in everyone’s conversations. Humanity has been taken to a whole new level of challenge and change. COVID-19 is not about something in another part of the world affecting other people, but a real thing in every single part of the world, challenging every single human being and providing pause to the way we currently live.
Our world! Think about it for a moment. The total surface area of Mother Earth is about 197 million square miles with a radius of 3,958.8 mi. As of April 2019, the world population was estimated to have reached 7.7 billion people.
If all humanity is affected, then truly all humanity is connected!
We’ve developed a common language using terms such as: “social distancing”, “self-isolation”, and “sheltering in place”. We gather around TVs, listen to radio reports and organize ourselves online. It’s easy to be consumed by the negative of our reality. But we must not lose sight of the positive impact this can have on everyone’s life as well. There is a light in this darkness!
“I will not allow my life’s light to be determined by the darkness around me.”
How can we be a light to those around us in the social distance of our corner of the world? Besides scaring us silly, this coronavirus has silently stopped us, too. How has sheltering in place become a blessing to you and to your family and community?
Although not easily noticeable, we have been regifted with the gift of time! Think back on your daily schedule before COVID-19. So many of us were running in multiple directions, focused on multi-tasking, and engaged in multi-everything! We now have time to stop, look, and listen.
When have you last paused to smell the roses, contemplate a tree, take a walk for enjoyment, breathe deeply of the fresh air? It is gift to “be” in life. It is gift to be present to those we live with—to pull out recipes and creatively cook, to gather around the dinner table sharing food and conversation, to pause for prayer, and the list goes on.
There is positive strength when humanity comes together in prayer, kindness, respect and support. There is great wisdom in knowing that 7.7 billion people are all interconnected. How will you use this strength and wisdom going forward? What newness have you discovered about yourself? What are you learning about others during these days of pause?
We can make a difference! Let’s choose to live life differently going forward: share kindness to stranger and neighbor alike, make prayer a priority, engage in acts that reverence the earth, value family and friends, and then united, we can be a light of hope for our world!