Compassion in a lockdown by Stephan Helfer
Compassion in a lockdown
Living at close quarters with others and being told to “stay at home” for an extended period brings “home” what the blessings of the fruits of the Holy Spirit are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (!). I wonder whether being in the same place and experiencing the same constraints, be they material (no bread flour!), educational (no school or uni!), social (no visiting and no cafes, restaurants, cinema, sports events …) or spiritual (no meetings!), is an image of “suffering with” or com-passion with others.
When God became incarnate as a person in the man Jesus Christ, He entered into our human “lockdown” and showed His compassion with the created, by experiencing the same constraints all humans suffer. However, being God, Jesus in faith overcame our human suffering and invites us too to overcome our constraints in faith. Can I survive, perhaps even flourish in this season of lockdown? What faith do I need, in order to overcome? How can I show compassion with others, who may survive or even flourish by my actions (or by my staying at home)?
The decision by governments around the world to order the lockdown is based on the (educated) belief that doing so will save many lives of vulnerable people, while also risking economic and cultural assets, and causing inconvenience and anxiety to most. In a sense our observance of the lockdown rules is an expression of compassion for these vulnerable neighbours.
May God through the Holy Spirit help us in the name of Jesus.