April 10, 2020

New Normal, New Questions, New Behaviors

In a now well-read WIRED interview from a few short weeks ago–which feels like months ago, or just a few hours ... depending on the moment–regarding the coronavirus, Epidemiologist Dr. Larry Brilliant was asked by writer Steven Levy,
Is there in any way a brighter side to this?

Well, I'm a scientist, but I'm also a person of faith. And I can't ever look at something without asking the question of isn't there a higher power that in some way will help us to be the best version of ourselves that we could be? ...
Brilliant's interview ends with his reflection on the correlation between belief, civic responsibility and reconciliation. He is hopeful not naive. He understands the dangers of the novel coronavirus better than most of us (watch his 2006 TEDTalk on pandemics). And, yet, it would seem that in the midst of that dark reality he has hope that God will enliven us to care for each other and heal social divisions.

For Christians around the globe we experience Good Friday as a moment of darkness. We might experience it differently this year as we face this pandemic. We know that Good Friday (and Holy Saturday tomorrow) will pass, that the stone will be rolled away, that Easter is coming. We, as well, know that there will come an end to our quarantine and the ravages of this virus. The question I am pondering today is, what will be different?

The world was different after that first Easter. A new normal was to be discovered for those that followed Jesus. We will not be able to go back to a world before the novel coronavirus. What will our new normal be? I think the Dr. Brilliant is right, we are beginning to see the signs of what is coming but at least for now, it is time for most of us to do the internal, spiritual preparation for the new normal yet to come. Dr. Michael Beck reflects on this as 'tomb time' in a recent article, "The tomb time is a place to wait, reflect, connect in new ways, and learn to ask different questions."

What new questions ought we be asking in these dimly lit days if we hope to engage the world in new ways?

No comments :

Post a Comment