“The only thing more contagious than a virus is hope.” -- Retired Navy Admiral William McRaven
I do not know if Admiral McRaven is a religious person, but his statement is a perfect piece of timeless Wisdom pointing beyond any single human effort toward a Creator of Hope.
We are in times in which fear is as contagious as Coronavirus. All week I have noticed the tension rising in me as my slow growing awareness came to understand just how tragic this pandemic will prove to be for our world.
Stunned by facts and numbers we have not seen our Governor, Mayors and every public official make so many televised statements affecting each and every household in their care.
We are in an uncharted experience. Texts and phone calls with neighbors, family, and friends share our corporate fears. With no memory to call upon on how to get through this, we are finding our way…the blind leading the blind.
A million questions like a river flow in our minds. Questions full of grief one moment like, “How many will die?” are followed by something simple the next like, “Will my toilet paper supply last”. Challenging questions fill us with dread like, “What will life be for all those who are laid off?” and others reveal how our habits have changed, “How will I fill all this empty time?” Perhaps all of our questions truly are one singular question in disguise, "Why is this happening"?
The Bible is such a spiritually helpful resource. This passage in John’s Gospel is worth your reading. In it Jesus heals a man born blind. And this obviously miraculous and wonderful thing sent people spinning into a million questions. Why was he born blind? Who sinned him or his parents? Is it right that Jesus healed him (and not others)? Did Jesus really heal him? How did he do it?
The questions that fill our minds reveal what we set our hearts on or what we believe. What we believe frames how we see the world we inhabit and all that makes up our lives.
So that this is true: the spiritual life is how we see real life.
If we frame our questions, thoughts and lives in Hope then we trust God has not made us to die but rather for love. Our real lives are defined inside and out by love.
Breath. Rest in this truth.
Bishop Curry expressed this so perfectly in his sermon last week at the National Cathedral, he reminded us of Jesus’ words at the last supper, “No one has greater love than this, when they give up their lives for their friends.” He went on “That kind of love must be contagious. And that kind of contagious love can change the world. We will fight this particular kind of contagion and all of our preexisting social contagions and divisions by the disciplined labor of love. Love working through medical folk, Love working through leaders, and Love working through each one of us who can help and heal.”
There is only one thing more contagious than a virus and that is hope.
Sense God’s outstretching and undying love reaching out to you and to our world this morning. Healing our blindness. For as certain as we will be grieved by what comes in the days and weeks ahead we will also see Love in action in ways untold before. God is a God of life and we are not made to die, we are made for Love.
Go in safety, because you can go where God is not.
Go in love, for God's love alone endures.
Go in peace, for that is God's gift to those whose hearts and minds are on God's Son Jesus.
And May the Blessing of God Almight, Father, Sone and Holy Spirit be upon you this day and always.