From the Editor...

Editorial Edition 163

Recently I had to take a family member to Medi-Clinic in Nelspruit. After standing in a long row, filling in forms, getting sprayed and temperature taken, we were allowed to go and see the specialist. However, only after we were sprayed once again by the guard at the door, and again at the specialist’s room.

What struck me was the people’s demeanour. Nobody greets you (besides the friendly staff doing all the tests), the people all have masks on so you can’t see a smile. In the lift, people stand far apart, and you can sense the fear in their hearts, not wanting to contract the virus.

In the consulting room, no one spoke; everyone busy with their phones in silence, and if someone spoke it was in a hushed tone. An uncomfortable silence hanged over the room. While sitting there, I thought of the old phrase: What would Jesus do?

Jesus spoke to whores, he healed lepers, spit on the ground and mixed it with soil and put it on a blind man’s eyes. He was hands-on, not afraid of diseases and filth.

Leprosy was and still is a dreaded disease, but He knew the truth.

With the Covid19 lockdown internationally, it is as if though we lost our humanity and compassion towards each other. No more hugging (which I fully understand), no more socialising, each one to his own.

I do not profess that we do as we want, what bothers me is that each is to himself. Just think of when it all started and people were panic buying, afraid that they will have a shortage, not caring about those that also may need.

At the same time, there are other issues – disease, conflict, climate change and poverty – which continue to afflict many communities, who will be rendered even more vulnerable by this pandemic.

It is therefore important that we face this current situation with hope, that we encourage one another, learn from one another and, especially, that we have special care for those already most at risk in our communities. Everyone has been affected by this, some in a lesser manner, and others more, some losing their livelihood, their income.

We all need help sometimes. After all, no one is meant to go through life alone. If life has given you blessings, it’s important to share those with your community, friends and family.

If your neighbour or friend tested positive, don’t shut them out. Make food for them, buy needed groceries and spray it first with disinfection, and leave it at the gate for them.

Keep in contact through social media; ask if you can help with something. Be there for others as much as you can. Be kind to others, like you would like them to be kind to you.

For others, sharing blessings might be as simple as having a conversation with someone or lending emotional support to a friend or colleague who is going through a tough time.

Hebrews 13:16: Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

I believe that the words “share what you have”, does not necessarily mean goods or food. It means emotional support in these trying times, a friendly encouraging word. Are you portraying Godly love towards others?

Or are you distancing yourself emotionally and physically out of fear of the virus?

The phrase “Do not fear” is repeated more than 365 times in the bible? Why? Because God knew we will face Covid19 in 2020. He knew we will go through trials and tribulations.

1 John3:17: But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

I have said this numerous times: We all die, eventually. When and how… it is not known. However, one sure thing in life is we die. The question is, are you ready spiritually? Are your affairs in order? Can you appear in front of the King of all kings, your Creator today and know that you have shown Godly love as per His instructions?

James 2: 14-17: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Ask God in prayer to show you what He wants you to do.

How you can help others and not be afraid. We need each other; we are made for touch and love. Yes, Covid19 is a reality and people are dying, but the emotional trauma of feeling alone and unloved is hurting you emotionally and spiritually.

If you reach out and just helped one other person with encouragement, or assisted with food or other necessary goods, you will reap the rewards. Be the light for someone in their darkness, let God’s light shine through your words and actions. Be the difference!

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