Coronavirus-world has confronted us with dark experiences and emotions.
Many have encountered fear. Afraid that they may catch ‘the virus’, afraid to leave the house, enter shops, be near other people…
Some are fearful of being without employment, money or food; some fear for the health of vulnerable friends or relations. For some fear has led to a greater isolation, insecurity and mental ill-health.
Families in lockdown have fears of inadequate parenting, coping and surviving, abusive relationships…
Many are fear-full.
Conspiracy theorists may say that this fear is deliberately fuelled by the media and politicians…
Many have encountered bereavement and grief – personal, deep and immediate.
Many have experienced bereavement for the first time. Many couldn’t visit the sick or comfort the dying; many couldn’t grieve loss or support the bereaved by attending funeral or memorial services.
Many have felt the loss of being unable to hug loved ones at times when they needed it most. Many have lost their hopes and dreams, their security and employment. Many have expereienced a hope-less grief that life is confusing, lonely, broken and out of control.
Some of Jesus’ stories are familiar and comfortable. ‘The rich man and Lazarus’ is neither (Luke 16:19-31).
- Dress – the rich man has fine clothes.
- Dogs – Lazarus, the poor man has his sores licked by dogs.
- Death – Both die.
- Destiny – Fortunes are reversed; the beggar is with Abraham, the rich man in hell.
- Division – There is a ‘great chasm’ between them.
- Difficult – I haven’t fully worked out what Jesus was getting at!
Musing on this story and the dark experiences of coronavirus-world…
There is more to life than the pleasure, success and riches; fear, pain, bereavement and grief must be faced; through them we discover a deeper wisdom and empathy; this different perspective on life enables us to live more considerate and compassionate lives.