Strive to be what you wish to see in others
” That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
St. Matthew’s Gospel, 5:45
We’ve made it another week. I know some may have doubted it, but yet here we are. Things have changed in Harlan County, in Kentucky, the United States, and even the world.
As the coronavirus ( Covid-19) pandemic continues on and much of the country is on lockdown or semi-lockdown we struggle with what some term the new normal. I am hesitant, no, resistant to use that term. It may be useless for me to do so, but I cannot, and won’t bring myself to say that now is normal. I hope above hope and pray that in a couple of months or so that we are sitting back laughing at all of this. Or at least most of it, not the deaths and destruction that has been wrought from it of course.
I’ve said from the beginning as this drags on we will get to see the true measure of people. We’ll either see the best from people or we’re going to see the worst from some. I am reminiscent of the 2008 film “The Dark Knight”, where Heath Ledger’s character the Joker says that, “when the chips are down people will eat each other.” I feel like that in real life, just like the film, that people will still be moved to good. At least most people anyway.
I experienced that a little bit today in a situation. In a rush to get out of the grocery store I dropped 60 dollars. When I noticed I panicked. I mean 60 bucks is 60 bucks ( or a couple of rolls of toilet paper…lol). I called Food City and asked them if anyone had turned in any lost money. Well to make a long story short by the time I got home they had called me to tell me an employee had found the money and they had it waiting on me.
I know the person who found the money could use it as much as I can during these trying times. I know many would be tempted to keep it. I mean, losers weepers finders keepers and all. But I’m thankful for the honesty and good nature of the lady who found it.
I know you’re thinking, well Clark, that’s not a big deal. Things haven’t got that bad yet. Wait till people are hungry. Wait till then. You’ll see what human nature is really like.
And hey, you’re right, to a degree. You have a point. I know. We’ve all seen the downside of humanity. We’ve seen pogroms, genocides, wars, man-made famine and disaster. We’ve seen brother turn against brother. Families turn each other in. Death squads, squalor, disease, soul-crushing totalitarian regimes. History and our current times are replete with examples of this. Of that, I am well aware.
There are, however, countless examples down through the ages, up to this current day of people who sacrifice for others. Acts of altruism. Acts of heroism. People who lay down their very lives, not only for family or friends or even for country, but at times, for total strangers. Every day the world is not overcome with the evil that comes from the hearts of men is because of those who stand as a bulwark against it. Most of the time with little, to no fanfare.
I know what you’re saying once again, how can small acts of kindness or even small acts of unkindness add up to the examples you’ve given. Well, I’m a firm believer that great buildings are built on a firm foundation. And a good foundation is built upon rocks, solid ground, brick by brick, laid firmly and securely. The same goes for bad. It builds upon itself until it builds to something no one ever wants to see.
So as the days turn into weeks, and hopefully, that is where it ends. If not, as the weeks turn into months and we learn how to navigate this crisis. Strive to be what you wish to see in others. Or as Jesus said, do unto others as you would have done unto you. Pray for the strength and guidance from the Holy Spirit to do so, even when our fallen nature would like us to do otherwise.
I’ve also seen some comments about the events unfolding and God’s judgment. I don’t presume to know the mind of God. Nor would I want to for my feeble fallen nature could not handle it. I do think that we must first look upon our own sins.
Do I feel there is judgment in all that is transpiring? Of course, I do. It is obvious that America has much to repent of. It’s clear most of us have much to repent from. That much is very true. I must say however that as I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, the rain falls on the just and the unjust. I’m sure God is working through this crisis. I’m sure that the trials can be both punishment for some and a test for others or perhaps a little of both for many.
I think we should look humbly upon our own sins first. We should pray for those around us. We should pray for our leaders. We should step up to be leaders. We should pray for our enemies and we should endeavor to make fewer enemies when possible. We should remember that when the rain falls that we’re all in this together.
Look out for your neighbors, friends, family, and be smart. If you can stay home, do so. For those who have to be out, you are remembered in our prayers. As I have said before, we are going to get through this.