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Calm Amidst the Chaos

“What the World Needs Now” – It’s more than a 1965 song by Jackie DeShannon, as our author reminds us, it’s what we need now, what we’ve always needed, and certainly what we hope to carry into the world beyond the immediate crisis of COVID-19.

What the World Needs Now


We need a lot of things right now. We need a vaccine. We need ventilators. We need protective gear for our doctors and nurses. We need rent.  We need economic help. We need science. We need medical judgment and wisdom. We need political leadership. We pray God speed for all these.

We also need prayer and spiritual wisdom. We need to fast and pray. We need to repent. Some of these we have needed all along. I wonder if we should live, in a sense, as if this virus never goes away. We certainly pray for its eradication and a vaccine, but I wonder if we should let it perhaps haunt our lives and minds for a while.  Of course, it will, regardless. All the death and destruction will see to that.  But before we rejoice when the new “normal” returns, maybe we should let the memory hang, like a ghost, so that we are reminded to repent, fast, and pray.  And to also remember our neighbor more and think about our connections to everyone and everything.

What is happening right now isn’t because we haven’t been doing those things.  That’s not the point. The point is that our current moment can be redemptive if we will allow it.

Yes, we need a lot of things right now. We wonder about the next trip to the grocery store or Costco.  What do we get and what should we stock up on? Will we have the money needed?  We wonder about our families, friends, and social circles. We talk, we can see each other on screens, but we miss being physically present.  We miss body language, eye contact, and all the subtle things only noticed when actually, physically, present with others.

What I’m trying to remember right now is that what we really need is love.  The only way we come through this, better people (relative term, I know) and Christians than when we began, is if we have learned to love more.  If that doesn’t happen, then even after this virus is vanquished, and even after we return to “normal,” we will have lost a great opportunity for redemption, for God’s grace to work in our lives.  This virus can kill. It can also be part of our salvation.  In other words, life.
We need a lot of things right now. Most of all, we need love.  Yes, it’s a song, but it’s much, much more. 

Rev. Dr. Kathy Harvey Nelson, DirectorCenter for Spiritual Formation, Inc.www.centerformation.org“Centered on Jesus, focused on grace and 


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