I don't know why the design of life is such that things like pandemics happen. I had a philosophy teacher once tell me that in order for there to truly be love, there needs to be freedom – freedom to choose love... and with freedom comes chance, which is where chaos can enter. Whatever the case, I have seen repeatedly in my own life that when chaos does strike, love is revealed in unique ways – graces come to hold us in our darkest hours. The good that happens in reaction to the bad certainly doesn’t make the bad worthwhile, but it can sometimes make the bad more bearable.
People often ask where is God in the midst of suffering. I understand what is implied in the question itself, and I agree, that it is very hard to find God in suffering. It’s so hard, in fact, that I simply do not start there. Instead, in my darkest hours, I have learned to look for God not in the suffering itself, but in the response to the suffering. In the case of the Covid-19 crisis, for example...
I see God in medical professionals bravely responding to the infected with skillful care.
I see God in dedicated scientists working tirelessly to develop effective treatments.
I see God in the leadership of those promoting the good of others over the benefit of their businesses.
I see God in the courage of essential employees (e.g. grocery store workers) continuing to offer the rest of us our basic needs.
I see God in the kindness of neighbors checking in with one another.
I see God in the school systems rapidly learning how to teach our children electronically.
I see God in the creativity of so many who are adapting to social distancing by using technology to connect and comfort one another.
I see God in the compassionate prayers circulating the planet in all languages and creeds.
And on and on and on…
Perhaps it’s easier to understand this notion if you look upon God as Love. Love is indeed present here. Love has never left us and I trust it never will. Love responds. I count on that. And as a dear friend of mine recently texted, thank goodness Love cannot be quarantined.
My you be inspired!