The world is in a state of pandemic caused by a previously unknown virus. We named it COVID -19 meaning there were 18 others from the family of coronaviruses. It is amazing that the entire human world is brought to a state of panic, and almost a complete halt, by something so small as a virus, something that we cannot even see, touch or feel. We are living in a state of fear. However, this is not new. We have had other viral outbreaks in the past, even recent past.
While the Plague, Yellow Fever, Measles, Cholera, Influenza and others are taught in history classes, there have been some other recent outbreaks. We had SARS (2002-3), Swine Flu (2009-10), Ebola (2014-2016), HIV/AIDS (1981-present), and MERS (2015-present). SARS and MERS are also corona viruses.
In the midst of a pandemic we are concerned for those who are ill and lost loved ones; however, we seem to have a short memory. Once the immediate danger is over, we return to a blissful state of ignorance. We seem to repeat our cycles of fear to obtuseness without learning from the experiences of the vulnerability of extinction. We will get through this pandemic, like we have done in the past, though with painful memories of loved ones lost and many losing jobs and homes.
Pandemics remind us that we are not invincible. We are reminded that humans are fragile. We are reminded that we do not have dominion over our world. While human beings are powerful and have some capabilities, in reality, we do not have dominion over nature, our surroundings, or even our lives. We are a part of a larger fabric of life that includes us; we are just a small part of a large world which has many other players.
Our existence on this planet is like a stage play. While different characters come and go on the stage, and while some get the spotlight shining on them, while some are just in the background never seen by the audience, or the pit orchestra that is heard, but not seen, the entire team has to work together and each have to do their part in order for the show to go well. The show is successful when each actor works to help the other be better by giving each other the best of themselves. There are other metaphors that give us the same message such as a sports team, an orchestra, or even a family.
Creation Care is one of the most important issues we are facing today. How we live today may be the source of human extinction in the future. While I am optimistic that human ingenuity will find ways to alleviate some of the impact of our carelessness, we will pay a dear price for it. The next generations will pay a much greater price for it and we have to remember that we are endangering the lives of our children and grandchildren. We are not to have “dominion” over nature and the world, but to live in a harmony with them. So when you see the word “kindom” know that it is not a typo, but it is an intentional effort to remind us that we are to live in peace and harmony with the rest of the world.