It’s my own fault.  Because I’ve written books with titles like Where Is God When It Hurts, Disappointment with God, and The Question That Never Goes Away, my phone starts ringing when there’s a mass shooting, a tsunami…or a rogue virus that spreads across the world.  Would I please comment on this radio show, or that podcast?  I’ve done little else this frightful week, as a tiny virus from the other side of the world has brought modern civilization to its knees.

I’ve spent much of my writing career circling around the problem of pain and suffering, and for some questions I know better than to attempt an answer.  Why does a tornado devastate one town in Oklahoma or Alabama and skip right past its nearby neighbor?  Why are Italy and China suffering so deeply from the novel coronavirus when other countries go unscathed?  Why does an omnipotent God allow such suffering to exist in the first place?

I’ve studied every biblical passage related to suffering, and concluded that we receive little guidance from the Bible on the Why? questions.  Job’s friends, who thought they had the answer, were smartly rebuked by God.  For his part, God managed to evade the question in his longest recorded speech, at the end of the Book of Job.  Centuries later, when the Pharisees or Jesus’ disciples proposed neat answers by blaming victims for their plight, Jesus refuted them; yet he too gave no real answer to the Why? questions.

Two things, however, I believe with near certainty.  First, we live on a broken planet that displeases God as much as it displeases us.  Jesus asked us to pray that God’s will “be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and clearly that prayer has not yet been answered on planet earth.  Philosophers and theologians put forward various theories explaining what happened here: an invasion by evil forces, perhaps; a Fall introduced by disobedient humans; an evolutionary process that has not reached completion.  None of these fully satisfies, especially if it’s your child who has leukemia, or your parent who’s contracted COVID-19.

My second belief follows from the first: God is on the side of the sufferer.  Almost instinctively, we react to suffering by thinking we must have done something wrong for which God is punishing us.  There’s an easy correction to that innate response: simply follow Jesus through the Gospels and watch his response to a widow who lost her only son, or even a Roman soldier whose servant has fallen ill.  Never does he blame the victim or philosophize about the cause.  Always, without exception, he responds with compassion, comfort, and healing.  Christians believe that Jesus is, as Colossians tells us, “the exact likeness of the unseen God” (1:15, TLB).  If you want to know how God feels about people who are suffering, look at Jesus.  God is on their side.

Jesus knew suffering up close, as a willing victim of our planet’s brokenness.  And when he ascended, he sent his followers into the world “as the Father has sent me,” to be God’s agents of comfort and healing.  In a lovely phrase, the apostle Paul refers to the God of all comfort, “who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4, NIV).  That is our stated mission in a world full of pain and suffering.

Thus, one answer to the question “Where is God when it hurts?” is another question: Where is the Church when it hurts?  Jesus’ followers are God’s designated agents of comfort and help, the literal “Body of Christ,” as Paul put it.

Looking at history, sometimes Jesus-followers have fulfilled that mission, and sometimes they haven’t.  When the great bubonic plagues swept across Europe, killing one-third of the continent’s population, prophets appeared in the streets proclaiming God’s judgment.  (As it turned out, what Europe really needed was a supply of rat poison.)  In our own time, when a tsunami smashed into the east coast of Japan, killing 20,000, some evangelical leaders blamed Japan for worshiping the sun god.  Even now, prominent Christians propose conspiracy theories involving North Korea or China for this latest crisis.  At a time when practically the entire world is at risk, they sow division rather than unity, fear rather than comfort.

On the other hand, as a journalist I have traveled to some 87 countries, and in most of them you can follow the trail of Christian missionaries by the hospitals, clinics, and orphanages they founded.  I wrote books such as Fearfully and Wonderfully with the esteemed leprosy specialist Dr. Paul Brand.  Virtually every advance in the understanding and treatment of that disease came from Christian missionaries—not because they were the best physicians and scientists, but because they were the only ones willing to treat that misunderstood and dreaded disease.  Following Jesus’ example, they risked exposure by reaching out to the leprosy-afflicted.

The sociologist Rodney Stark has written (in The Rise of Christianity) that one reason the church overcame hostility and grew so rapidly within the Roman empire traces back to how Christians responded to pandemics of the day, which probably included bubonic plague and smallpox.  When infection spread, Romans fled their cities and towns; Christians stayed behind to nurse and feed not only their relatives but their pagan neighbors.  Their proffered comfort drew others to the God of all comfort.

How should we respond to the pandemic we face now, the coronavirus?

Like most Americans, I have spent too much time in recent days listening to news reports of body counts and the relentless progress of the virus.  This week, a foot of snow fell in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where I live.  My wife and I walked for an hour through untracked snow, breathing the clean mountain air and kicking out a trail under evergreens blanketed in pure white.  I needed that break, a reminder that for all its problems, the earth we inhabit is a place of indescribable beauty.

Ski resorts are closed in Colorado, a heavy blow to the local economy.  So are restaurants, theaters, concert halls, and churches.  Yet most state parks remain open, and the government has waived fees at national parks.  For those who can access the outdoors, I recommend a good long hike as a way to unplug from the tiresome cycle of negative news.  (Even outdoors, however, we must practice social distancing; some parks have had to close because overcrowding has endangered visitors and staff.)

When I got home, I picked up a thick book that’s been sitting on my desk for weeks.  Reading, I’ve found, is an ideal way to salvage a period of self-isolation.

Rather than add to the millions of words on thousands of websites related to COVID-19, I’ll instead post links to a sampling of some I’ve found that offer perspective and help.

First, this link provides a nuts-and-bolts overview of the science behind the virus in an entertaining animated format.

Pete Wehner has recently published in The Atlantic a profile of Dr. Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health.  The CDC in Atlanta is just one of the departments reporting to Dr. Collins, and I’ve made it a practice to pray daily for the person who more than anyone else bears the weight of managing the health crisis we’re facing.  It’s a long article, but well worth the time, for it gives a balanced picture of the threat we face, as well as telling Dr. Collins’ own story of moving from atheism to Christian faith.

Our Canadian neighbors have started a “caremongering” movement to counteract the fearmongering that often accompanies pandemics and disasters.  They are finding safe ways to offer practical help to those most vulnerable.  There are many heartening examples of people who strive to counter the sense of helplessness and fear, such as the Spanish pianist who gave a concert on his balcony to scores of quarantined residents who listened from their own balconies.

Richard Rohr reminds us that a threat like the coronavirus forces us to see the global community, for all its diversity, as a human family.  Although suffering cannot always be removed, it can be redeemed, and Rohr suggests how.

At the recommendation of the artist Mako Fujimura, I’ve become acquainted with the wonderful artist Dawn Waters Baker, who recently wrote a blog about Father Damien.  That Belgian missionary took on the mission of bringing comfort and help to leprosy patients who had been banished to the Hawaiian island of Molokai.  His is a model story of a Christian helping the hurting.  (While on Dawn’s site, be sure to click on the tab “Main Website” to view some of her artwork.)

Finally, those who are history-minded may appreciate this piece about Martin Luther, who lived through an outbreak of bubonic plague in Wittenberg, Germany.  With typical bluster, he rails against the devil and has harsh words for those thought to be deliberately spreading the disease.  Of the latter, he wrote, “My advice is that if any such persons are discovered, the judge should take them by the ear and turn them over to Master Jack, the hangman, as outright and deliberate murderers.”

Luther lived before people understood how disease germs are spread.  Yet on balance the great Reformer offers wise advice:

I shall ask God mercifully to protect us.  Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it.  I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence.  If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others.  If my neighbour needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely, as stated above.  See, this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.

Martin Luther demonstrated “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” that Paul wrote about (Philippians 4:7).  That anxiety-quieting spirit should characterize the followers of Jesus.  It may seem unattainable during plague times—until you remember that Paul wrote those words from a prison cell:

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.

 

 

 

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49 responses to “Living in Plague Times”

  1. Rick Jebb says:

    Thank you Philip. Your thoughtful and wise words are a precious gift!

  2. Kathryn says:

    Great article as usual! And thanks so much for letting us know about that wonderful interview with Francis Collins.

  3. senait afework says:

    Thank you very much for the article and the insights you shared. I wanted to ask few questions in case you can share some of your valuable insights….What should be our voice (as a church) (trying to share what God says) to the world in times of suffering while we make an effort to show love and compassion?…Jesus in Luke 13:2 did indicate there is a need for repentance for all ….right? even though it does not mean the one suffering are sinners more than the one’s who are not at the current…. I have also a question how we should pray in such a time as this….? ….I think God is much much much more displeased than we are…including with His church……my courage and confidence for prayer and repentance and mercy comes when I think of Jesus – who has paid the price on behalf of all….Thank you again for the very valuable insights, first time to comment on your blog…with much respect. Thanks!

    • Philip Yancey says:

      These are great questions. I can’t deal with them all, but I have a comment about Luke 13:2. As I read the Gospels, I see Jesus speaking with two very different words to a dual audience. For example, to the poor and the marginalized he speaks words of comfort and hope, such as in the Beatitudes (“Blessed are you…”). At the same time, to the rich and the unjust oppressors (including the religious authorities), he speaks with all the fire of an Old Testament prophet. I see a similar pattern in his dealing with the suffering. To the suffering person him/herself, he extends comfort and healing. At the same time, to the bystander he summons up lessons that we can learn from suffering: Are you ready for death? Is your life ordered in the right direction–loving God and loving your neighbor? I believe the church should echo that same dual message. To those who are fearful, lonely, feeling helpless, we can offer practical help: enabling and supporting health workers, contacting shut-ins, giving to food banks, etc. At the same time, a crisis such as we’re facing exposes some things about our economy-driven, entertainment/celebrity culture. Hey, it’s actually possible to get through a day/week/month without professional sports! So, how are we using the time we’re given here on earth? And, what rarely comes up in our death-denying culture, what if you’re the next to die of coronavirus (Jesus’ point in Luke 13)–are you ready? How have you spent your life? Every day the news media give us profiles of marginalized people who live on the edge. How should we respond to them? These are the kind of thoughtful questions that can be prompted by a crisis and for which the church can and should supply answers.

      I love your thoughtful questions. –Philip

  4. Kim Ebersole says:

    Well written and thought out article. Ironically I started reading your book that just came out as an updated version, “Fearfully and Wonderfully”. I am loving this book and have been promoting it on social media. Especially to High School and College students who have more time on their hands right now and enjoy Science. Thank you for your words. I have read most of your books as they have made a huge impact on my faith as a believer. I too came from a very legalistic background and have studied to find what the Bible has to say about truth and God’s love.

    Kim

  5. Judy Grieve says:

    Wonderful article. Thank you.
    I have led several of your Bible studies and I think my favorite is Whats to Amazing about Grace? But Soul Survivor was excellent too. You have way with words that helps me understand more fully.
    I am a 2 on the Enneagram and find this time we are in very difficult. I am a fixer and although I KNOW I can not fix all that is happening, it is hard to suppress those feelings. Couple that with AGE, I find myself struggling to find coping strategies.
    So reading the blog and listening to the podcast with Dr. Lee Warren have helped me a great deal.
    Again, thank you for being challenged by things you did not understand enough to write SO many wonderful studies. I did especially like the music you picked to go with the Amazing Grace study. I listen to them still and find comfort in remembering the book, the study, and the groups that shared it with me.
    Stay safe. as we all are trying to do. I look forward to your next “questioning minds want to know” book.

  6. Sue Kleinsmith says:

    Philip,
    I was SO glad to see this morning that you had a blog posting. When I saw the title I looked forward to your insights on all this with the Corona virus, hoping it would be spiritually uplifting as I have found all of your writings to be. And you did not disappoint! You put into words so much of what I believe and agree with but can’t quite articulate. Thank you for that! Thank you for the scripture references reminding us how Jesus handled the “why” questions. And thank you for the referrals to other reading!
    Your blog and the other reading is going to make this time of self isolation hold much inspiration.

    Oh, it made me smile to see you’re opening statement, “It’s my own fault”, that you get called on so much at times like this because of the books on suffering that you have written. I was thinking how you probably thought that the writing of those books was your main “job” and achievement. But no, God had even more plans for you as you accept the challenge of traveling to speak to and comfort so many who are going through life’s worst times.
    Thanks for all that you do. Prayers that you and wonderful Janet stay well!

  7. David Bannon says:

    Ralph Enlow, I too am a bereaved parent. I too have lost a beloved niece. I have no doubt your family is heartbroken—a term that is far too weak for such overwhelming loss. Everyone is grieving, as you are grieving. You may find that, even in your sorrow, you want to be of use to your sister and her husband over the coming months and years. Please allow me to assure you, if I may share my personal experience, that silence and companionship make a tremendous difference. There is very little you can say that will help—but there may be much that you can do. Bereaved parents need tending to. After my daughter died I was not myself: the simplest tasks seemed beyond me. A few things that helped me and may help your sister and her husband: over the coming months and years, call them frequently; email frequently; do not give up on them as time goes by; do not get discouraged when they do not reply; make a note of every special occasion, such as father’s day, mother’s day, birthdays, holidays. Those days can be a torment for the grieving: this is normal and to be expected. When you remember your niece on those occasions with a card or email, you are assuring your sister that she existed in this world and will never be forgotten. Finally, when you write and speak with your parents and your sister and her husband, please consider saying your niece’s name often now and in the years to come: after all, she will always be their daughter, your niece, their granddaughter, and a part of all your lives. In taking the initiative to contact them and help them, you may find that your own sorrow has a useful expression, painful but inevitable. Just as importantly, you may find that these small, long-term acts provide a sense of communion in your shared grief. My daughter died five years ago and even today I am moved by the many gestures people made that helped us in those first few years. As a bereaved uncle, I know how much I want to help and how little it seems that I can do—as a bereaved parent, I know how very much every small act of kindness and remembrance means. May you and your sister, her husband, your parents, your entire family, have moments, however rare, of precious peace.

  8. Kristine Slaughter says:

    This is amazing as is all your work. May I post it on Facebook?

    Again, so happy to meet you and your lovely and gracious wife Janet when you were both at St. Andrews several months ago.

  9. Sayra says:

    Thank you. As always, your words bring comfort and perspective. We’re on week 2 of quarantine in Puerto Rico. I’m a psychologist and have had the luxury of shifting to working from an office to working from home. Still, the load feels heavy at times. I remind myself that I can hold grief and hope, at the same time. It’s not one or the other. I remember that my soul is anchored on the One who holds all our tomorrows. Thank you again. This post was a blessing.

  10. Diane Reeder says:

    Thank you Philip! Your provided so much comfort after my husband’s death 20 years ago when I first read Disappointment with God. You let me know a core and eternal truth: how we as humans handle our struggles is directly related to how we THINK about them. Thinking rightly about a thing allows us to handle it so much better. I put that idea into practice two years later when I release my own book. Your book helped me on that path. My gratitude for your writing is endless; it comes straight from the Spirit. Continue to shine that light for us.
    Blessings,
    Diane Proctor Reeder

  11. Laurie says:

    Thank you, Philip, for sharing your words of wisdom as well as links that not only instruct but also inspire. My husband and I donated some things to Goodwill the other day and this woman who was working there smiled at us with joy and warmth and thanked us. She said, “you know, the Old Testament says that there were plagues back then and now we’re living through those times again, but they survived and so will we because God keeps His promises and never abandons us.” These types of historical events bring out the worst and best in mankind, but my faith and my own joy were renewed by this woman’s joy, light, and spirit — and she has inspired me to share God’s light and message that we are all in this together. We can be compassionate and be filled with gratitude for all the people who are doing all they can to bring us out on the other side of this from the medical personnel who are on the front lines, the grocers who are making sure we still have full shelves to pick and choose food to bring home, neighbors caring for one another, churches still sharing God’s Word through technology, Goodwill ladies, and the list goes on and on. Thank you for always being a light and reminding us all that we can be the hands of feet of Christ in so many ways — even in “social distancing.” God Bless You and all those who were highlighted in your links! Great information!!!!

  12. Diane Melang says:

    When your blog appeared on my phone, I dropped everything to sit and read it. Once again, you have “said it all”. No one but Jesus Himself could have conveyed His “bottom line” message better. Thank you!! And may God keep you around for a very long time! Diane

  13. John Notestein says:

    Thanks for your words. We serve an awesome God who graces us with his peace.

  14. Katie says:

    Thank you for a much anticipated blog post. I always love your words but this time I also especially appreciated the link to the moving article on Francis Collins.

    I live just outside DC and my sister and I were so excited to attend the service that you were scheduled to speak at at Washington National Cathedral. It’s a life goal of mine to meet you one day and it was going to be the peak of our spring break. Expected and completely understood why it was canceled, but hoping for another chance to meet you one day. Best wishes for you and your wife’s health and care during this time!

  15. Colleen Tonkin says:

    Thank you Phillip for your calming words of faith and encouragement. God has truly blessed you with the gift of words to help us understand His great love for us.

  16. Alyssa Cumming says:

    Thank you so much for providing words of wisdom and hope at this time. I have enjoyed your writing for many years. This is especially meaningful as a health care provider who will be inn the thick of it for the foreseeable future. I have been giving considerable thought to the possibility that I may die as a result of being one of the ones trying to help. I pray that I will be up to the task and that I can be salt and light at such a time as this, regardless of the cost. Hospitals are all ill prepared for a pandemic and we will have limited supplies. Prayer will be as much of a shield of protection as whatever supplies we will have. Thanks again. I will likely read parts of this again as I head into work each night.

    • Philip Yancey says:

      You bring tears to my eyes, Alyssa. God bless you and the many others who are called on at such a time. You are the “skin” on the Body of Christ, and those of us without your training and skills need to pray for and support you. –Philip

  17. Rebecca Robins says:

    Thank you sir. You are, as always, a voice of calm in the storm. I am home with 3 kiddos and my husband… and just last night I realized that my own desire to stay connected and informed is in fact creating more fear in my brain and heart. So yesterday, as I picked up my phone to text a friend, I felt God ask me — write out 5 true things about me.
    This morning I have spent time copying Psalms (from my physical bible – not an app) and praying while I manage ‘home school.’ Found your article as I was checking for teacher emails… glad I took the time to read it.

  18. Tour d'Ivoire says:

    Wonderful. I am teaching a course about the French 18th-c and, while talking about Voltaire’s Candide ou l’Optimiste, I have a hard time both defending Voltaire and exposing his malevolent interpretation of Leibniz. Because, on one hand, I do agree with Voltaire that we should not justify suffering by defending God and blaming individuals. On the other hand, that is not what Leibniz did with his theory of monades and the infamous (due to Voltaire) “We live in the best of all possible worlds.”

    Here’s Leonard Bernstein defending Voltaire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMIzHnyuiNY&t=1147s

    Thank you for your wise reflection on suffering. It hurts me to see how Christians try so hard to justify suffering, as if that would give them some control of the world, which is not to be their.

  19. Nancy current says:

    This was wonderful. Your gift of writing continues to be a comfort for so many. Thank you.

  20. Mike karber says:

    This is excellent and will be shared with many🙌🙌🙏🙏❤️

  21. Bob Fryling says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful commentary and perspectives. It is indeed humbling to not only feel physically powerless before the scourge of the virus but to feel spiritually agnostic in not being able to answer the “why” questions. Yet the stories of compassion in church history and in the present are powerful. It is as if our common plight due to the virus is making us more aware of our common humanity and dignity that is created in the image of God.

  22. Michael Kunsman says:

    Philip,
    Simply the best overall response to this corona virus crisis I have yet to see. But what else should we expect from you. So please accept my thanks that our paths on the journey briefly crossed and that we were able to meet. Continue on in health and peace, my friend.

  23. Debi Barton says:

    Loved this! Thank you!

  24. Santosh Ninan says:

    Thank you Philip for once again giving us some much needed perspective. I am just now coming out of what I think was a type of shell shock. I am looking foreword to how God will lead his church in the coming days of uncertainty.

  25. Mike B.... says:

    Thank you for this article. So refreshing to get away from the news cycle of now and get direction and encouragement. Take good care, keep healthy and keep safe.

  26. Geoff Craighead says:

    Brilliant. So edifying and uplifting. Thank you, Phillip.

  27. Dianne Lami says:

    Well thought out and said. And how we need to practice Philippians 4:8-10. Thank you for helping us understand that not even Jesus answered the “why.” He just. Healed. With compassion and love. No judgment or accusation. Absolutely. Thank you for adding the extra links, too.

  28. Steve Kamerick says:

    I have faith and believe that God is present everywhere, Jesus is interceding for all of us where our words seem difficult to present to God, and His Holy Spirit and advocate, comforter, and friend is revealing our Heavenly Father’s words and unsurpassed love every moment and in anyplace we may be wandering regarding His wisdom. Since the veil was rent we can come to God anytime, by invitation, as He wants to know us and hear from us, and wants us to know Him. So thanks Philip for reminding us that we can ask God anything and Jesus said use my name and you will be given anything you ask. Comfort and compassion is what I ask this morning for all who are affected in some way by our troubled and confused times as these.

  29. Ralph Enlow, III says:

    Hello, Mr. Yancey. (I’ll wait for your permission to call you “Philip”.) You actually know my dad on a first-name basis, having been classmates in college! In th midst of this bizarre pandemic, my family has been stunned by an unspeakable tragedy: last Thursday, my 5 year old niece drowned in an accident at home. My sister and her husband devastated and I’ve never seen or heard my parents as distraught as they were after it happened. I wish to write more, but if there’s an appropriate e-mail at which to reach you, I would like to do so there if possible. I will say, though, I have re-listened to many of your insights about tragedy and suffering and found them helpful. Please keep me and my family in your prayers.

  30. Erick Cocks says:

    I nearly did not write this message. The answers most seek, are not the answers they have hoped for. So many want to be the author of what is good, and what is bad looking at the world through their tiny lenses. So the answers are veiled from their eyes. There is nothing that is hidden, that is not hidden to manifest to the light. I have found when I search for answers I am to be open to what I find there. Not to hope to find my interpretation of what should be there…after all isnt what my hope is in, is what my faith is built in? How many cannot see the forest through the trees? Right or wrong those are their trees. So I wrote, this because you included that quote by Martin Luther. I am young in my faith, however I am drawn to his outspokenness, and fearlessness in the pursuit of GOD. I am…also.

  31. Palma says:

    I must admit to never having read much of Martin Luther, but I found his advice affirming as I hide in my house (with my daughter on the front lines) and try to do what little I can to help online.

  32. Cindy Hamilton-Smith says:

    Thank you Philip. You have become a friend to me through personal health challenges, loss of children and parents and dark nights of the soul. Bless you my friend. Be well. You’re a treasure—thank you.

  33. Chit says:

    Thank you so much for this article. As ever I love how you put things in perspective. You havenonce again clarified my questions of why God and really this spoke to me loudly and clearly. I will sure share this. Thank you. May God ever give you always the gift of wisdom and discernment.

  34. Jenn B. says:

    Thank you, for the comfort and wisdom born of your time and words.

  35. Carol Holquist says:

    Thank you, Philip, for this sane, heartening article. As Christians, we have, as I heard a pastor say this past Sunday, been preparing for this all our lives. We know how to trust, how to hope, and how to be generous. Now to do it is another thing altogether….

  36. Shayne Stephens says:

    Thanks for this, Philip. Your words have accompanied me through some of my darkest days and have always been a much needed ray of light. Wishing you peace and health in these uncertain times.

    SS

  37. Walter Maqoma says:

    Thank you for continuing to share great insights which help us navigate these difficult seasons of life. God bless you.

  38. Sandra says:

    What good words !! Thank you Mr Yancey…God uses you often to minister to my soul!!

  39. Stephanie Gan says:

    Truly, what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Let us take our fears and place it before the risen Lord. Right now, we should be looking out in our community and ask what can we do to share each other’s burdens. Be it getting food for people who are quarantine at home, economic burdens that people are experiencing because of business closures, looking after children who are out of school, so their parents can go to work, share food with people who aren’t able to buy things they normally would have enough to buy?

  40. Diane Turner says:

    Thank you so much, Philip, for your deep thoughts on this worldwide panacea! Yes, you do have a place that makes us think where we are with God and where we could be! It need be only a small thing to us, yet it is an active effort to help our community. God rewards little or big! I have friends with sewing machines who are busily stitching up proper face masks for medical staff; others who are dealing with collecting food/house items for our church pantry to distribute; and caregivers calling around to see what needy/elderly people need us to bring them. What “little” am I doing? I work at a Chick-fil-A here in Albuquerque, doing deep cleaning so we may stay open in our take-out & drive-through services (as well as community services). God gifts us with those abilities that He wants us to use. Let’s listen to Him & know that together, with the Body of Christ, He will make our work complete! 💗

  41. Ted Senapatiratne says:

    Wow! Thanks Philip for your very balanced blog! I definitely will be sharing this with my friends!

    Love all your writing, and you are on top of the list to influence my thinking!

  42. virginia youdale says:

    Thank you, dear Philip, just what was needed! We are so fortunate to have all these modern gadgets that help us keep contact and I thank God every day for them. I pray too for those cooped up in small flats, when I have a house and garden. May God bless all those who are caring for us and working round the clock. We must respect them and stay HOME.

  43. Aivars from Latvia says:

    Great article!
    Thank You Philip!
    May good Lord preserve You in good health and happy spirit!

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