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Coronavirus: How Do You Respond in Difficult Times?

Claire Ling

‘If you know someone who doesn’t have any clothes or food you shouldn’t just say, “I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat.” What good is it to say this, unless you do something to help?’ – James 2:15-16 (Contemporary Living Translation)

I walked around a surprisingly empty supermarket yesterday afternoon. I couldn’t quite believe how quiet it was. It felt calm and strangely unusual because of that. Where were all those panic-buyers I’ve been hearing so much about? I saw no one with an overloaded trolley or sweeping armfuls of produce or behaving frantically.

If they weren’t raiding the shelves now, they had been at some time before my arrival.

Down the cleaning aisle I noticed some toilet rolls were still available but not many. I couldn’t help but to look in the trolleys that passed me by to see how many packets of toilet rolls people had.

It could be easy to join in with the bulk-buying, but my plea is to remain rational, sensible, caring, and wise individuals that make up a rational, sensible, caring, and wise nation.

A friend commented to me today about how aggravating she found it after she realised a neighbour in their late 70’s with lung disease had run out of toilet rolls but couldn’t find any in her local store. Some people just don’t have the ability and ease of travel to search for an item that others won’t use up in months.

This led me to wonder how much trust we have in those around us – our friends or neighbours – to deliver food should we be unable to get out and about. Will we be that person who goes out of their way to help those around us?

Like it says in James 2:15-16, helping others during extraordinary times (and indeed anytime) is both a responsibility and an opportunity to share Christ’s love. Showing love, concern, and practical support is an expression of our faith and a response to the love God lavishes on us.

Being salt and light comes in many forms. Whether this is through providing for those in need, remaining calm, giving encouragement, being compassionate, or even through promoting health in our communities. May the Holy Spirit give us courage and opportunities to be salt and light in times such as these.

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