By Rev. Paula Ashby, retired
None of us are Troglodytes. Many among us are concerned about the pandemic. Some believe it is real, some do not. Some wear masks, some do not. These opposite beliefs create division among us, and it is the division which concerns me at least as much as the spreading of any type of virus.
Remember the phrase “divide and conquer”? Whatever it is you believe, please do not let us be divided.
Have you ever had a child afraid of the dark? Do you need to believe in monsters to comfort that child? It is the belief in compassion which moves us to check under beds and inside closets, and turning on night lights to calm that child’s fears. We don’t need to believe in monsters, we only need to feel compassion to respond to that child’s fear.
Healthcare has become political. Charter’s are being invoked to “prove” the rightness of our positions. God and Jesus are being brought into the conversation to “prove” our right to religious freedoms. These positions are highly divisive, and so I offer a gentle reminder that Christian freedom is held in harness by the teaching to “love our neighbours”.
We all share basic human needs for community. We all need to feel heard and held. We all need to experience love and connection. We all experience fear. Whatever our beliefs, we are all simply doing our best to fill our very human needs. When we learn better ways of doing that, we do better at meeting those needs.
We may believe different things, but none of us are Troglodytes. We are all humans sharing this piece of time and space together. Please let us do so with kindness and compassion for the humanness of one another.
Whether you are praying or washing your hands, please do so for at least 20 seconds. Whether you believe in germs or not, whether you believe in God or not, please, let us follow the golden rule echoed across centuries of multiple traditions to love your neighbour as you love yourselves. And please, if you can, let that love of neighbour be shown in the wearing of a mask in public spaces.