Written by Madeline Kalu
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.
No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16 (NRSV)
Thought of the Day:
During these unprecedented pandemic times, the love of God that resides in us needs to shine like a beacon through the darkness of fear and doubt, and offer encouragement and hope to others.
My husband Solomon and l have been collectively living in Germany for over 20 years. I am British and Solomon is Nigerian. Despite our acclimatization to the German culture and language, we enjoy connecting with our cultural and linguistic roots when the opportunity arises.
A few months ago, in the period between the first and second national lockdown, Solomon ran into an old friend from Nigeria in the nearby city of Essen. The friend declared that he was now a pastor of a church for African ex-pats, and consequently invited my husband to attend their upcoming church service that Sunday.
Solomon’s happy anticipation of home-grown worship and fellowship was very much realized that Sunday. After the church service, Solomon walked to the main train station with a couple of African men from the church. They maintained social distancing and had their masks on their persons.
As they were chattering and exchanging pleasantries, a lady walked past them and yelled, “Hey, Corona people!”
The group was struck dumb by this unprovoked verbal attack. One young man in particular was very upset.
“Why are we being randomly targeted as harbingers of the COVID-19 virus?” he asked the others dumbfounded. “Why be unnecessary cruel during such unprecedented times, when we all are suffering? And, who are “Corona people” anyway?”
Instead of expressing their own hurt, Solomon and the others comforted the young man. They assured him that the lady was probably feeling the stress of the Corona pandemic and was thereby projecting her fears and anxieties on them. They reminded each other that as believers of Christ they should forgive this lady, just as Christ forgave them their transgressions.
The fellowship of these men, at first carefree, had turned earnest, and they were grateful for the spiritual support they could provide each other under both happy and serious circumstances.
As they parted ways, the group expressed a wish that the lady would be able to experience the same peace and freedom that they did, by putting their faith in the Lord.
Almighty Father, we do not know why mankind has been struck down with the COVID-19 virus, but we do know that You make all things good with Your perfect timing.
Until then, we will be comforted in the knowledge that Your grace goes before us, and we will shine with Your love, so that we may be a light to others and encourage our fellow brethren in this dark world.
In Jesus’ name,
This entire experience was a reminder for Solomon of how imperative it is that we as Christians continue to be a light for others during these unprecedented times.
Where fear and anxiety reign in people’s hearts, where prejudice and postulation override common sense and sympathy, God’s love needs to be a beacon that cuts through the darkness to offer revelation and encouragement – not only to those who do not know God, but also to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.