It may sound callous and cavalier to say that there is a “silver lining” or some other cliché that can be culled from the coronavirus but, in my experience and in the experience of many like me ~ it is true.
How often it is that we hobble along or strut through believing that we are in control of things and that we can manipulate outcomes using our prowess, minds, willpower and collective experience… until something like the coronavirus comes along and reminds us of how inherently powerless we are over people, places and things.
For all our wisdom, knowledge, fight and might; a virus comes along that no one had even heard of a couple of weeks ago and world financial markets tumble; entire nations are advised to stay at home indefinitely; people are quarantined aboard luxury liners where, paradoxically, the un-sick eventually become sick; and even when the quarantine is lifted, some people return home only to become sick with the very illness that they were declared free from.
One of many things that a life in recovery from addictions has taught me even though I was dragged kicking and screaming into the awareness of is that most of my success, health, stability and spirituality came ~ not through victory, but through surrender. While others may “fight” cancer; those in recovery have shown me how to see it as a pat of myself that I may need to learn to live with, learn from and, dare I say, actually befriend.
I learned to day that, due to coronavirus and its cause of industry being temporarily shutdown, satellite images of China show far less clouds of toxic pollution hovering between China and space.
Yesterday, in the church I serve as pastor, we learned how to celebrate communion without possibly infecting people with our nonsensical habits of passing contaminated bread, juice and wine from one person to another. Coronavirus, thus, has actually brought our people closer together as a caring community.
My worst nightmare once was dying from addiction; and strange as it may sound, addiction taught me vital lessons that delivered me unto a life far more beautiful, meaningful, and purposeful than I might have experienced had I not been afflicted.
I do not want my children, church or wider community to suffer needlessly. But I also don’t want them to run in fear and panic from that which might, with the grace of a benevolent Higher Power of my own understanding ~ deliver me and others onto higher ground.
Teach me, show me, humble me, dear Coronavirus, and reveal to me what you want me to learn. And, if it be God’s will, lead me and others safely home… if it be your will.
Dwight Lee Wolter