“All religious services are suspended.” No big deal, right? It’s just another “service” that has been put on hold. We have a tendency to belittle the concerns of others whenever that concern has little to no impact on us. We poke fun at the dramatization of someone’s social media rant on the loss of their favourite food or service. “What’s the big deal?”, we wonder.
Yet, unbeknown to us, many of these services give meaning to our world and for what it represents. Take the temporary closure of McDonald's, for example. McDonald’s is a global cultural icon, a powerhouse that we are familiar to be “always there” and to be “unshakeable”, and with its delivery and 24-hour service, it even more “never fails to deliver”. But then it did. And perhaps we didn’t know how to articulate it, but our replies said it all, “Woah EVEN McDonald's close sia.” And so while frivolous to an adult, it might just be how a young person understands and expresses, “the s**t has (finally) hit the fan”.
My faith has been the one constant in my life. Through my different seasons, be it euphoria or depression, my faith saw me through the years. Some of the darkest nights, where no one, even myself, could understand the uncontrollable pain I would feel in my mind and heart, my faith held me, even when I couldn’t hold it. And while my salvation is between God and I, my walk on earth isn’t.
It is braved with community, nursed by friendships, learnt by fellowship and strengthened by intimacy. The loss of the “service” was not the mere loss of a programme but such communion. And weeks on, I dearly miss it.
Yet COVID-19, like many other adversities, while has the power to unforgivingly destroy and disrupt, it also leaves in the wake of its destructive endeavour that which is good, noble and true, revealing that which is unshakeable. While the building has closed, the fellowship hasn’t. While services have been suspended, our faith hasn’t. If anything, COVID-19 has only removed the convenience of our religion, and made room for the conviction of our relationships and relationship with God – our love towards Him and His love towards us.
So as strange as it may be, while I hate your destructive nature, and the lives lost, the inconveniences caused and the seeming uncertain future, I’m thankful for what it reveals: “Three things will last forever – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love.”