COVID Contemplations (May 29) – “Allergic to Hope”

The calendar will tell you that it’s not until June 20, while the temperature gauge will suggest it started weeks ago.  But for my money, summer officially begins today as area schools have now limped to the finish of the oddest academic year ever.  And there’s some comfort in knowing that, I think. For as tedious as these months of quarantine have been, there’s a new season ahead, which always means there’s a new hope as well.

I completely understand, of course, that we are in no way out of the woods when it comes to this pandemic, and that the coronavirus may even become a lasting part of our lives for many years ahead, at least until an effective vaccine and therapies have been perfected.  But as the world around us begins to re-awaken to summer once more, I can’t help but think that this change of seasons may be a particularly meaningful one.

Many churches and other houses of worship such as our own, for instance, are now making plans to re-open in June, albeit with a host of new procedures and policies.  Like an ancient Jewish miqvah, or ritual bath which worshipers entered before going to the Temple in Jerusalem, we’re installing some portable handwashing stations in our Gathering Hall, and the rest of our facilities have never been cleaner.  And we’re shortening the services a bit to limit some of the exposure for folks, along with rethinking how we do offerings, communion and music.  What’s more, we’re encouraging our members who may be more vulnerable to the virus to continue to worship with us at home via YouTube or our website.

But even with these modifications, just opening up the place once more is an encouraging sign that things may indeed be changing in both the culture and the church, if ever so slightly in the eyes of some. It’s a bit like what Albert Camus wrote toward the end of his novel The Plague when, against all expectations, signs begin to emerge of a slight abatement in the darkness.  The season was changing, in fact, but not everyone realized it.  And Camus explains it this way:

“Plague had imbued some of them with a skepticism so thorough that it was now a second nature; they had become allergic to hope in any form.  Thus even when the plague had run its course, they went on living by its standards.  They were, in short, behind the times.”

As we finish this strangest of all spring seasons, thus, we’re going to do our best to move into a summer that we hope can be filled with hope.  As a part of that, these daily blogs will end for a while, though I’ll still be checking in on a regular basis.  (If you want to know when a new piece is up, just subscribe at the bottom of the blog page and you’ll get an email each time.)  And while we will continue to respect the power of this pandemic, we’re simply not going to cower in fear of it or even hide in the shadows when we can do otherwise.

After all, it was God who not only “fixed all the boundaries of the earth” but who “made summer and winter.” (Psalm 74.17) Now that summer is here let’s not live behind the times.

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8 Responses to COVID Contemplations (May 29) – “Allergic to Hope”

  1. ken crouch says:

    look forward to this every morning

  2. Patty Ergenbright says:

    Thank you Chappell! I read these everyday and think your added humor inspires us to not Get down. At least it has worked for me! I shall miss them!!

    Blessings Patty Ergenbright

    Patty 🌴 281.788.4062/cell.


  3. Wes Whiddon says:

    Thanks, Chap, for all your daily posts. Always looked forward to reading them. Take a break now. See you in church on Sunday. Well, you won’t see me but I’ll be there in spirit.

  4. Dicky and Linda Walker says:

    We enjoy your blogs and will follow.
    Love and thanks,
    Dicky and Linda

  5. pdavistx says:

    Love your posts and your wisdom. I look forward to reading them.

    Pat Davis/LUMC


  6. Lynne Blunck says:

    Thank you for encouraging and blessing us through this season of life. Will miss you.
    Love, Lynne

  7. Bobbie Nell Higgins says:

    Hearing from you Chap has made staying in all this time has made it more bearable your words of encouragement has meant so much. We love and continue to pray for you and Julie, hoping to see you again. The Higgins

  8. Barbara McGaffey says:

    Your voices of reason, balanced with wisdom and humor, have been a wonderful leveler for me and many more of us. I joined you via a “share”. Thank you so much for sharing your time with us during this pandemonium. Barb McGaffey (FUMC Alvin)

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