In Times Like These, Eager Hearts Long to Hear of Jesus

Our world is suffering, and we can help to abate that suffering, and bring Christ to the world, with godly words and gestures.

Antonio da Correggio (1489-1534), “Head of Christ”
Antonio da Correggio (1489-1534), “Head of Christ” (photo: Public Domain)

This is an amazing time for the entire world. Even amid the hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic, it still is an amazing world. Despite the illness, isolation and fear, we have much for which we can be grateful. When I say that, I’m not being insensitive to those who have contracted the virus or lost loved ones to its scourge. In a way, I say it because of them.

In this present time, we have access to technology that didn’t exist in previous eras, and we have the ability to use that technology to reach out to others. I’ve never before seen so many people reaching out in so many different ways both asking for and offering support and prayers to each other. The online community is bursting with opportunities to pray together, relate to one another and sympathize with others. It truly is an amazing time. As Christians called to announce the Good News to others, we have an important job before us with the technology to do it and more ears open to hearing the Gospel.

Let me give you a couple of small examples from my own life.

When my husband and I went grocery shopping, the store was swamped with aisles blocked off and employees directing traffic and rationing items in short supply. Whenever possible, I made it a point to offer a smile and a brief word of encouragement as I passed or received items from them. It didn’t take much. A simple “Thank you for hanging in there” was enough to make them take a breath and smile back. Many of them noticed the Marian medal that I wear. A gesture like that costs nothing and can do so much good. We don’t always have to tell people we’re Christian; it’s enough to simply act like one. The cashiers and baggers were working at warp speed and I could see they were stressed and fatigued. As the bagger was loading our cart, I told them they were doing a great job despite the tremendous stress they were under. Then I expressed my sincere gratitude and asked them to pass it on to the other employees when they had a chance to chat in the breakroom. Our cashier was surprised by my comments and the bagger had a tear in her eye. “We really appreciate hearing that and I’ll pass it on to the others,” she said.

Without seeming like a lunatic, I’ve taken up the habit of telling others, especially people who serve me in some way during this time, that I’m praying for them. And I do. I’m constantly praying for all affected by COVID-19. My remark is always met with gratitude and often with surprise.

Yesterday was the best of all. I was having trouble ordering something online and signed into the website’s support chat. The agent was patient and helpful. Some of the items I wanted were out of stock and I could tell by her responses that she was expecting me to be angry. I wasn’t and let her know that. It’s just the way things are right now and it’s not her fault. Before we ended the chat, I typed this message: “Thank you so very much. I really appreciate your help. I know this is a very stressful time for you and all of your co-workers. I’m a woman of faith and I will pray for you.” There was a short pause and then she typed, “In Jesus’ Name. Amen.” After that she wished me a great day and I wished the same for her and closed the chat.

If we take these small opportunities to reach out to others and to truly be Christian in all of our interactions, we can do a great deal of good and lift the hearts of many, many people without even going out of our way. Our world is suffering, and we can help to abate that suffering, and bring Christ to the world, with godly words and gestures.