We have heard the news reports about many incredible acts of courage and compassion from the frontline workers at different hospitals around the world. Just a few days ago, we heard about the 99-year-old vet who has been walking to raise money for the fight against COVID-19 in the UK. He initially was hoping to raise one thousand pounds. He has raised more than thirteen million pounds. We learned that many people have made homemade non-medical masks just to give them away to others. We have witnessed the generosity of many individuals and businesses who have given generously to folks who have no food, no medication and in some cases no shelter. Sadly, we have also learned that many have lost their lives while caring for others. That is the highest form of giving.
When it comes to human suffering and loss of life, we should not be too preoccupied with the mere numbers of the stats we read. One human loss of life is too many for God. When we lose a loved one in this pandemic, it is no longer a possibility. It is a certainty. We should never deny the darkness of death because death, in essence, doesn’t belong to God.
Many of us actually have the urge to do more and to help with the hope that we can make a difference somehow. One of my favourite spiritual teachers, Mother Teresa, shared her understanding of compassion after many years working with the poor:
“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
The love she talked about comes from two different realities: we belong to God and we belong to one another. We would have a great deal of peace if we learn how to live them out. We should never trivialize death because of these two realities alone.
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
— Isaiah 54:10