Pandemic of Fear

As we descend deeper day by day into this Corona crisis it becomes all too easy to become gripped by fears for our own and our family safety, fear of the unknown and fears for the future. By consciously choosing to hold a position of faith rather than fear we can improve our situation and not allow it to overwhelm us. If collectively we exercise faith it will make a huge difference and even influence the outcome. Here we may need to monitor the content of our conversation because by the words we use we will either be spreading the positive outlook that comes from faith or the contagion and negativity of fear.

From the East comes a story that is particularly relevant in these times. A wise man was out walking when he met Pandemic on his travels. ‘Where are you going,’ he asked. ‘To yonder city’ Pandemic replied, ‘and there I intend to claim five thousand lives.’ ‘So if it has to be,’ replied the wise man, ‘but not a single one above that, do you agree.’ ‘Yes’, said Pandemic, ‘five thousand it is and no more.’

A month later the wise man again met Pandemic on his way back. He was angry and accused him of taking fifty thousand lives when he had given his word that five thousand was going to be his limit. ‘In truth,’ said Pandemic, ‘I did faithfully keep my word. Just five thousand died of the disease but forty five thousand died from fear and panic when they saw me coming!’

I think you will like this video clip:

A Stormy Crossing

We stand at a defining moment in our history that we sense will not leave us as it finds us. It feels as if we are embarking on a perilous voyage where we have every reason to be concerned at personal, community, national and global levels. The many crossings of the Sea of Galilee by the early disciples offer a faith rather than a fear focus at this time. They were usually evening crossings when Jesus said, ‘Let us cross to the other side.’ We too sense the Sun coming down on so much of what we have taken for granted up to this. Like the sudden storm that arose for them without warning, we now find ourselves in perilous seas. Christ slept through the worst. He was in the eye of the storm with his inner center undisturbed. When they woke him he reached out and calmed the raging sea. His inner peace radiated stillness even to the waves. Then he asked them a very important question, ‘Where was your faith?’ Yes, they had faith but it was not in him to keep them safe but in the power of the wind and the waves to swamp them. They had shown that they were more fearful than faithful disciples. Hopefully we too can cross to the other side of this Corona Virus with faith in our hearts without allowing our lives to be swamped by fear.