Weekday 5 of our quarantine.
Weekday 5 of our quarantine: Today as I try to adjust to the “new anything but normal”, I feel this is the most confusing time I have ever lived in.
Each day I sit down and write a piece for the day and then I have Jan proof it, you see writing is not one of my gifts. This morning everything I wrote just didn’t feel right. I just couldn’t articulate the confusion I am feeling.
I read earlier this morning on Facebook an article written by someone I respect very much, Doug Logan Many of you will remember him as the person that oversaw the construction of Rockford Metro Center. He then went on to manage the arena for a few years very successfully. Do any of you remember when he got the Rolling Stones to come to Rockford and perform in our small arena? Anyway, for today, here is what Doug wrote on Facebook. I hope it inspires you today.
The shortest verse in the King James Version of the Bible. John, Chapter 11, Verse 35. John’s Gospel describes the death of Lazarus of Bethany, brother of Mary and Martha. Jesus arrived four days too late, and upon hearing the news, He wept. Before all else, He wept.
The living God, wept. Before removing the stone covering the tomb; before praying aloud to the Father; before ordering Lazarus to come out, resurrected; Jesus wept.
The focus of this story we are living is all wrong. World wide, we have seen this pandemic precipitously claim the lives of over 22,000 souls. A near Lakers sellout at the Staples Center. And every one of those seats has a story.
We are transfixed by the numbers scrolling on our screens. Doesn’t feel too much different than the tabulation of results of the Iowa Caucuses. But, every number is a story of suffering, and a life ending, preemptively. This morning we gnashed our teeth when we heard about 3.3 million people filing unemployment claims. The scientists implore us to be driven by the data. We watch the Dow; we wait with bated breath to hear the final number of the bailout. How many ventilators are we short? How many countries have been affected?
Jesus showed us spiritual leadership by weeping. Not our guy. Over a month into this crisis and not one sign of empathy. Not one word of sympathy for the choking victims. For the solitary death throes. The only thing he worries about is him. We know that. It is unrealistic to expect any different.
Former Wells Fargo CEO, Dick Kovacevich, wants people to go back to work and ‘see what happens’. Incredibly, he went on to say ‘Some may even die; I don’t know.’ We are in danger of losing our humanity. It’s all numbers. Jobs; bank accounts; net worth; the Dow. Not people.
We have developed false definitions of suffering. A journalist who I have immense respect for wrote a long piece today in my paper. She described the hardships undergone by a local couple that are marooned in quarantine on a Cruise Ship. A voyage they undertook voluntarily on March 5th, three short weeks ago. Confined to their luxury cabin, they are brought gourmet meals and wine to their door.
And the victims are choking to death. Alone.
Before raising Lazarus, Jesus wept. Before we bring our lives out of the economic tomb, we need to weep. For those who are truly suffering. For our real loss.
Till next week – be safe and HAPPY