It has been about 3 months.
The virus spreads at rocket speed. It felt like the virus has moved to the ends of the world and is living next-door to everyone.
I have a friend in Shanghai, a kin in Taiwan (Proximity to the first initial epicentre)
I have my husband’s colleagues who were asked to take leave of absence because they were in a Grab car boarded prior by Wuhan visitors. He told me he walked passed them on the same day (2nd degree proximity to me and my family)
I have heard of a close friend’s condominium receiving notice of someone in the block who returned from overseas and was diagnosed with it and now her condominium is cleaning and disinfecting the entire place.
I received notice of one case of COVID-19 in the cathedral that my husband and I attend our Sunday services and where our children attends their Sunday school.
I have recently seen a notice at Sakae Sushi in the mall I frequent (only the mall not the eatery) near my home saying that it’ll be close for two weeks. And now two other malls within walking distance from me have reported cases.
The impact of the response to the virus is also very real and close to us.
I have a chum’s company affected by the Malaysia lockdown that she has to convert her office to a dormitory.
I have a friend who worked as freelance Zumba instructor for the vendors engaged by Health Promotion Board, hit by the repercussions of the virus due to the suspension of the elderly group classes.
With two kids in tow and a family to cook for, I’m affected by the 5 days MC that was necessarily implemented, child care centre’s sudden closures for disinfecting, suspension of enrichment, the shift to HBL (even for piano?!?) and the lurking thought of running out of stocks of the usual foodstuff and dealing with no grocery delivery.
And in fact, I’m sure many more of my friends’ and friends’ of friends lives are affected
It seems to me no one can go unscathed from it and its effects.
In one video, https://www.facebook.com/kwca700/videos/10158438095934668/, Zou Yue, a news anchor for CGTN said,
“Sober up, Covid-19 respects no national borders. no social bounds, no political systems, no cultural values. It hits us just as hard. It levels the world. Facing the pandemic, it is not what happened matters. It is how we respond.”
I didn’t catch the first three words initially. For a while I thought he was talking about death, because it fits in rather well as to how I’ve understood it.
“Sober up, death respects no national borders. no social bounds, no political systems, no cultural values. It hits us just as hard. It levels the world. Facing death, it is not what happened matters. It is how we respond.
How true it is, even if I were to use death to describe COVID-19 as how he did!
So why are we afraid of death? Is it because we will lose our existence and there will no longer be a “me” in this world? Is it because we only know and love the comfort of living so much that we cannot fathom what death might entail? Is it because we have unfinished business and dreams on this earth? Is it because the feeling of losing, or being lost “in space” is unbearable? Is it because of the thoughts of not knowing what will happen next?
Our mankind’s first main problem center around overcoming the problem of death. Why do we even wake up every morning, to do all that we need to do?
Some have the nonchalant attitude that to be birthed, aged, sickened and die is just part and parcel and a matter of fact of life. That there is nothing to be afraid of. Whatever is intended to happen will happen. Then if in that case, why bother to live at all? And in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis, why bother with all the precautions and measures? Why don’t we just close our eyes forever and not wake up at all, we’ll eventually die of dehydration and malnutrition. But we don’t. In most cases, we get on with our lives even if we don’t exactly know why we are here, on earth, in the first place. As the song goes ” staying alive, staying alive ah ah, staying alive …..”
Then comes our mankind’s second problem: Figuring out why we even exists. Why does creation exists? Why are we even born? We have perhaps cast this very important question in our life aside in the busyness of our life. Maybe NOW is the time to think.
So really, it all voices down to the basic necessity of survival and keeping alive in order to continue the purpose that was set for us in this life that some may have got it figured out while many are still in search of.
Like many of you, who have been searching or have stop searching, I too went through a fair great share of that when I did not yet know God. But the search came to a stop when I encountered the Spirit of my unstoppable God.
Through the bible and His grace, I came to know why I existed, how I’ve come about, what I am purposed for, where I am heading to after this physical death on earth and who I’ll be meeting. I don’t claim to know all the answers in life, in fact, even most of Jesus’ disciples can’t. But the bible answered enough of the important ones for me to make a decision towards Jesus.
If I could borrow some of the news anchor’s words as he explained about China’s approach to the virus to share with you the answers I get about life, it would be this.
“For almost as long as we lived, sin infected all in the world in a day when it entered through Adam, then everyone’s heart was occupied with sin and a void for God exists. Now an empty tomb and closure on the issue of physical death. How did God solved the problem of death? It may not be very new to you, you may have heard it before, it is definitely worthy to know and review it again.
According to the bible, Romans 5:12 says ‘Therefore, just s sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—
In John 11:25, Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;’
What God did was to break the cycle of sin and death by the intervention of His only son- Jesus’s birth, death and resurrection.”
Anyone who have watched passion of Christ would know how extreme the method of death God had planned for His own son was. Cruxifixion is one of the worst form of punishment in history.
The method is not unprecedented, BUT the fact that God allowed it to be carried out on His own sinless son is unprecedented in history. I wouldn’t hesitate to use the word “extreme, draconian and aggressive” to describe how God have done it. But this is really what is needed for God to deal with the problem of our sins and the issue of death that mankind has struggled with as long as they lived. As is written in Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In a nutshell, in order to be a fair God, He needs to see to it that our sins are answered for i.e. all the consequences of our wrong thinking, motives and doing are dealt with.
BUT in His great love for us, He got His sinless son to take our places. So technically, instead of us, being on the cross. He went up the cross for us so that He can right the wrong in us, and give us all a fresh start. How amazing is this love! How can it be?
As I continue to give a new spin below to what the news anchor had said, may I urge you, my dear friends who are reading this to take a moment to consider what I have said.
“Sober up, God’s love crosses all national borders. all social bounds, all political systems, all cultural values. He loves us just as hard as how He went up the cross. He levels the world by saving all equally regardless of what you have done before. Facing Jesus, it is not what happened matters. It is how we respond to Him.”
I’ll end here with the below verse, and hope this message of Jesus’ love (together with my love for you) may spread quickly and reach you faster before the virus reaches more.
16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”[a] 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.”[b]