It is not lost on me that we are in a situation – a world crisis – the like of which has never presented itself in the entirety of my life. At the same moment I recognize that we are moving deeper into the season of Lent, a moment of opportunity to come to a more conscious understanding of the meaning of surrender.
I don’t want to talk about the coronavirus because facing it might call me to pay attention in a way that I am unaccustomed to functioning. I cannot, however, disregard all the warnings simply because I am a healthy person. While that is a true fact and I am aware of the great blessing of that reality, I cannot ignore the fact that I am approaching my seventy-second birthday and although I would like to ignore the implications of that in this situation, I do it at my peril. I need to pay attention to what I am eating and how much sleep I’m getting, etc. — if not for my own benefit, for the welfare of the three women with whom I live and for others with whom I interact.
In addition, I need to assess which of my activities I am willing to let go, rather than ignoring the risks because I am not likely to contract the disease. One might not see the connection between the spiritual and practical considerations in such a moment as this but to me it is quite clear.
Patience and love, willingness to surrender for the common good are the virtues needed now by each of us. “What am I willing to surrender?” I ask myself this morning. I would do well to look to the example of Jesus for the answer.