“After the virus, can we…?” Lately, Ellie starts most of her questions this way. After the virus, can we have a play date? After the virus, can we go roller skating? After the virus, can I bake with Grammy? After the virus, can I go camping with Nanie? She has learned to tell time by COVID reckoning. Before the virus. After the virus.
What will this world look like after the virus? What will we look like? What will we be like? For my part… I hope we’re like the words of poet Laura Kelley Fanucci, who writes:
may we never again
take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbors
A crowded theatre
Friday night out
The taste of communion
A routine checkup
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
When this ends,
may we find
that we have become
more like the people
we wanted to be
we were called to be
we hoped to be
and may we stay
for each other
because of the worst.
Better for each other because of the worst. Changed, transformed, because of “the worst.”
I believe it’s possible. In fact, I believe it’s more than possible… not because of who we are, but because of who God is. I certainly don’t believe that God caused COVID-19 or sent COVID-19 to teach us some important life lesson… yet I do believe that God can use COVID-19. I believe God can use the “worst” we are experiencing at the moment and redeem it, transform it.
It’s what God does. It’s what God has always done. God has always been in the business of transformation. Doesn’t the resurrection itself teach us that? In the moment of the resurrection, our God transformed death — tragic, gruesome death — into life for all time, life for all. Our God is the God who can take the worst thing and transform it into the greatest thing, a God who can transform deep darkness into glorious light.
Our God has the power to transform death itself into life itself… and because of that, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that COVID-19 isn’t beyond God’s transforming power. So church, I pray that God will use COVID-19. I pray that God will use it to transform us. I pray that God will use it to transform us into more compassionate, more grateful, more generous people.
And I pray God will make that transformation stick. “When this ends,” the poet writes, “may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be, we were called to be, we hoped to be… and may we stay that way.”
Make it happen, O Lord… and make it stick.
Our God is bigger than coronavirus.
Our vision is bigger than coronavirus, too.
We are people blessing people.
We are Wesley Church.
Want to know more?
- Learn about our church and its ministries: https://wesleychurch.com/
- Make a gift to support our mission: https://wesleychurch.com/giving-2/
- View our recent messages: https://wesleychurch.com/sermon-message-on-video/
- View previous devotionals: https://wesleychurch.com/pastor-candys-devotionals-2/