I listened to Bishop Curry yesterday talk about two pandemics. One is the coronavirus which at some point will no longer pose a threat, the sooner the better. The other is a pandemic of self-centeredness that may be an even greater threat long term. I recommend you go on to You Tube and listen to his sermon yesterday as part of the service at the Washington Cathedral.
I wonder after a third night of violence and looting if there isn’t a third pandemic sweeping the country. This pandemic began with a single but horrible occurrence, but like a lit match in a dry forest it has swept across the country. It is fueled by justified anger and frustration, and sadly by opportunists. Once again we ask is there a vaccine, is there a cure, in the words of Bishop Curry is there a “Baum in Gilead?” This pandemic has been with us for a long time, because we have never doused the coals that are always smoldering and just waiting for a little fuel to start the raging fire again. Why is that, I ask this morning.
Most of our leaders have issued calming words, and hopefully they will have the desired effect to put out the fires. But after that will we as a nation, as communities, and as individuals be willing to do the hard work necessary to douse the embers that have been smoldering for centuries?
I don’t have all the answers concerning how to overcome centuries of abuse, discrimination, and hate, but I think we all know where to begin — in our hearts. It is time to start. May give us the strength, love, and resolve to make it happen.
PS: The world lost a great soul, and the State of Arkansas lost a dear friend last night. Her name was Marty and in the words of her daughter Janet, “she had style and flair and passion for life. She touched everyone she knew. She was beautiful, brave, bossy, and bold. She was fun and feisty, and she never ran from hard times.” Suzy and I knew her as a loving and ferociously loyal wife, a loving mother of two fabulous daughters, and unwavering friend for over fifty years. Her friendship was unconditional, and her acts of kindness were more numerous than the stars. Everybody was always welcome to come to her front porch, pull up a rocking chair, and pour out their soul to Marty’s non-judgmental ears. May God bring comfort to Mike, Janet, Ann Blair, and the hundreds of friends whose lives she touched with her love, humor, and care. Godspeed Marty!