In an earlier post I asked why The Greatest Love allows suffering to take place. That certain types of suffering, such as that caused by natural disasters can be especially hard to understand. A global pandemic fits into this same category for me.
Such grievous, and widespread suffering in the World. My heart weeps for all those made ill or worse by this terrible virus. In that earlier post I pondered whether such suffering was a test. A test of our love? I now believe that is not the case. I do not believe a loving god kills tens of thousands in order to test the rest of us.
Arguably the god of the Old Testament administered such tests. Yahweh asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac as a test of his faith and loyalty. A heart-wrenching test that some may say was cruel. But that was a different time. The god of today, the god I believe in, The Greatest Love, I do not believe would ever ask a person to choose between their child and their god. Thousands of years ago such extreme tests of faith and loyalty, and loving your god before all others, may have been required to establish the Abrahamic faiths and allow them to persevere and eventually flourish, but I do not believe they are required today. Today I do not believe The Greatest Love would sentence tens of thousands to die in order to test the rest of us. That is not the loving god of today. That is not why we have pandemics.
If I am to believe as I do that The Greatest Love has infinite love for all of us, Their goal now is not to test us, but to teach us. The lessons are many:
- How loving our Mother Earth and all the inhabitants that reside within Her can prevent deadly pathogens from jumping from the wild to human beings. Love and respect for our planet and all its loving life is most critical now more than ever.
- How protection of human life can have a high economic cost, and that is rightfully warranted and must be accommodated especially by wealthy nations. We question putting the economy ahead of such devastating human suffering at our own peril.
- How kind governments have a critical role to play in lessening the hardships of a shuttered economy on individuals and businesses by providing relief. Such governments must be there when their citizens fall.
- How The Greatest Love has provided us the one critical tool to address this pandemic. That tool is science. Leaders and all people must learn to embrace it as the one tool that will propel us into the future and then protect us from the harms we may find there.
- How this virus is a great equalizer. It affects and kills across all socioeconomic lines. Young and old. Weak and strong. Rich and poor. The Greatest Love has shown us an enemy that we can all fight against together instead of against one another and has reminded us that we are all equal in Their eyes.
- How a global culture that more often favors competition over cooperation is failing us. The winds of nationalism must subside and now, more than ever the World must come together to stop this terrible virus. A pandemic that may have come at a critical time to make us see how the world needs to cooperate more, not less based on what science has to tell us. If so it is a lesson well-learned as hereafter we need the cooperation of all nations to stop a more existential crisis in climate change.
And many more.
The Greatest Love is not an authoritarian god testing our obedience, worthiness, or love. They are a loving god trying to teach us the critical lessons of compassion and unity in the face of an indiscriminate global adversary. Many have died and many more will die. It may seem cruel and unfair. But the lessons are that important. We have been shaken from our slumber so that we may never forget. Their plan is to put us through this pain, and teach us these lessons now so that we may be better prepared for what tomorrow will bring.
The Greatest Love has not abandoned us. Quite the opposite. They are embracing us as we bear this terrible burden together. A burden not meant to break us but to bring us together and then build us up. To make us better than we were before.
I wish all of you safety and good health in the months ahead and may all of you find comfort in your friends and family, and of course your god during these difficult times.