Linn, from our Catch community writes, “When you know someone who has died, or a friend has lost a loved one, or you know someone who is working in a COVID-19 ICU, the reality sinks in deeper. I know someone in each category, and the situation continues to break my heart. But, I am thankful that God is providing a vaccine that will hopefully curb the virus. I also hope that we as Christians have learned [to have] more concern for our neighbors during the pandemic.”
Linn’s heart is breaking because she has had close encounters with the devastating realities of this current pandemic — encounters that have eluded many and caused even some to doubt its existence. One of the the three categories she mentions, I am proud to say, is also represented by my own daughter, Anne, who is an E.R. doctor at a hospital outside Honolulu. Anne says, “Doubters should follow me around and look at the chest X-Rays I see every day. The X-Ray machine doesn’t lie.” And then she reports of the number of people coming in as victims, not of the disease, but of the related domestic abuse, alcoholism, and drug overdoses of those who cannot cope with being unable to get out of their homes or rely on the support systems normally available to help them like A.A. and other support groups. Not to mention those out of work and struggling with depression. Anne believes those in this latter group may be even more at risk because, in the deluge of COVID patients, many of these others are being overlooked. Many with non-COVID issues are not even going to the hospital when they should, for fear of contracting the disease.
And then there are many in our Catch community who fall into the first two categories. We hear their stories in church on Sunday night or in our Bible study on Wednesday — stories like Bob from Iowa who knows of six or seven COVID cases right in his immediate neighborhood. And every time we ask for prayer requests, we hear reports of sickness and death among friends and relatives. I do believe the level of our compassion is related to the level of our exposure, but I guarantee that you do not have to go far to find pain.
Here at the Catch, we are indeed a Motley Crew. The formal definition of “motley” is “variegated in color or composed of diverse, often incongruous elements.” The word is felt to derive from the Old English, “mot,” meaning spot, or “mote,” meaning speck. I think it is safe to say that the group the Lord has given us will always fit the definition of motley, as I am convinced we all have a few motes that keep us humble and keep us real.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about being first responders in justice and in love.