Quarantine is over and restrictions are lifting. Like a deer in the woods we peer out at life, hesitant. How long will it be before we dream again?
These months have been heavy. Fearful. Numbing. Our noble goals for quarantine productivity long ago dissolved into apathy. Efforts at uplifting each other gave way to videos of brutality and rioting. Hope tiptoed away, mask in place, shaking its head in sympathy for what could have, should have, been.
And now we emerge from our lockdowns, our hearts raw, blinking in the harsh light of a world whose pretense of civility is long gone. Where do we go from here?
The world, our country and our homes need light right now. They need hope. And most especially, truth. Politics will not help us heal our divisions. The nightly news won’t offer us hope for the days ahead. Social media won’t give us the reassurance we crave.
It is time for those of us who claim to be Christians to step out of our familiar circles and into the lives of the wounded and broken around us. We are the light of the world, Jesus said (Matthew 5:14). “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)” (Ephesians 5:8-9) We are ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20), shining like stars in the universe as we hold out the word of life (Philippians 2:15). We are a people belonging to God, that we may declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9) This is our calling in this present darkness.
We have work to do; a mission to complete; people to love. We know where this thing is headed, and we know the way home. We must be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12). We must lift our eyes to Jesus, who endured the unimaginable for the coming joy. (Hebrews 12:2)
Hold your lamp high, my sister, my brother. Lift it up so that the dark corners of this world are illuminated. Light the way for the discouraged and despairing. This is our moment to share life and hope with those who are burdened with fear and hopelessness. “In this world you will have trouble”, Jesus said, “but take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).