I have been thinking about essential services as we move deeper into self isolation, amid fears of the Coronavirus. There are many lists including grocery stores, gas stations, medical and emergency services. But what about hope? What does hope as an essential service look like?
Faith communities are struggling with this question as the traditional notion of church is upended. One might argue that the role of faith in the world is to provide hope. Hope that there might be life after this journey. Hope in humanity. Hope that mistakes made could be used as lessons to grow by, rather than chains to stagnate. Hope that we can come together and provide hope to each other, even when we can not come together.
Let me share some observations of hope in my world. I see musicians collaborating in virtual settings. Sharing their gifts of melodic light in ways outside any traditional venue. Virtual art classes being shared with our children through web portals. Classes taught to students scattered across the globe. The illumination of faith, in whatever form that may take, and the realization that church is not about the building. Communities of faith are not bound by bricks and mortar, but rather trust in each other and a higher power.
Yes, there is fear, uncertainty, anxiety, darkness, and loneliness. But there is also hope, light, and a connectedness that transcends time and space. There is love. Love is all you need. Yes, that Beatles anthem will be rolling around my head for a while, and perhaps yours too. Let it be. Let it fill you up. Let it take you down, to Strawberry Fields, if that is your jam. But most importantly, share it. Few things in this world are more contagious than a smile, laughter, or the gift of song.
Hope as an essential service? Perhaps the most essential one. For we are not long for this world, but hope springs eternal. So friends, make a point to check in on each other, share a smile, laughter, your blessings and your challenges. Lift each other up, for We Shall Overcome.
#WeShallOvercome #hope #faith #love #coronavirus