Where is there Light?

Some Restrictions and Wrongs of this COVID Season

  • Lack of ability to physically enter worship bringing loss of connection to many.
  • Millions cut from police budgets across the nation. In Portland, $15 million was cut which meant among other things, the disbanding of a team who dealt primarily with neighborhood safety. The result: Homicides have risen dramatically. In NYC, an acquaintance wrote, the streets are not safe at night.
  • The Portland mayor prohibited the police from using tear gas to disrupt riots. Tear gas is the most effective, nonviolent way to control rioting. Once removed no other local police organization would assist Portland with the riots, for then it meant groups in greater number than the police against which there was no means to halt the riots.
  • Governor twice denied request from the Portland Mayor to send in National Guard. What might we learn about the governor’s beliefs by these refusals?
  • Kids who usually are restricted with limited screen time, now are on screen hours a day. How might this impact their development?
  • Friend working at the local food pantry said: “There are new people showing up at the pantry every day! And they say the same thing, ‘I’ve never been this low. I’ve never been at such a point of desperation.'”
  • The cure is worse than the disease.
  • The rate of depression, anxiety and psychological disorders has risen dramatically. According to the Pew Research Center in 2018 9% of Americans showed they suffered from anxiety. In March 2020, this number had doubled to 18% and, by May 2020, the number had nearly doubled again to 33%. So, by May, nearly one-third of Americans are dealing with such psychological symptoms! It might have risen since then, but no new study has yet been done.
  • The mass censorship of over 40,000 doctors, medical scientists and experts by the media and by elective officials demonstrates a violation of the scientific method and gives an argument for large scale scientific debate to take place regarding government policy. It also might tell us, there is more going on here than a virus.
  • The censorship, by Google, FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter, of any opinion which counters the popularized narrative.
  • The USA death rate in 2019 and 2020 has remained unchanged, however, deaths by auto accident, cancer, heart attack, etc., have fallen dramatically to be replaced by deaths attributed to COVID-19.
  • Calls to suicide and crisis hotlines have spiked dramatically.
  • Provincial hospitals are essentially empty of COVID-19 patients. Nurses, doctors and health care workers have been laid off or furloughed by hospitals across the nation.
  • The median age of death from COVID-19 in Canada was 85 years old.
  • Elective and needed surgical procedures postponed to save space for COVID-19 patients who are not arriving. Still beds are empty in Portland hospitals and people suffer untreated debilitating conditions.
  • The rifts between people are immense. Whether in politics, in views of pandemic, in opinions about other issues, etc., people are split into bunkers and all kinds of shots are being fired against one another.

Back in March I heard the Lord say,

“It is not what it seems.”

This was in regards to the pandemic and the virus. You’ll have to decide what you believe, as for me, I know this is a planned, and carefully executed worldwide event. You see, if it were about an illness, the data would line up. There would be agreement. The death rate would be clearly serious. But there is none of that and we have politicians restricting the use of medicines approved by the FDA for 65 years. This is never heard of. Doctors around the world threatened with revoked licenses if they use it. Why? Because it was a drug known to heal SARS I and worked effectively on COVID-19.

So, that’s a heap of negative things, I know.

But the cool thing is this: God is bigger. God is in control. God sees this. God calls us to be HIS in the middle of wicked days, whatever is to come. And there will surely be fallout with the outcome of the election, no matter who gets elected. We need confidence in God.

Pastel Painting by Gabrielle Shimer

But, now, as we look at all the darkness is there light? Are there any positives to which we can point? It is darkest just before the dawn. Are there good things happening in the midst of the bad? If there is some sort of plot behind all this, can we witness God still at work? Yes.

Some Blessings and Gifts from this season

  • Worship went online expanding the ministry of many congregations immensely.
  • Bradley — a stroke victim in his 50s had never been able to attend his local church before and is grateful to be with them every week.
  • A man in Austin, TX scrolling worship services one Sunday found his church. It was dynamic, the pastor excellent, and on that Sunday this man met Jesus. Imagine his surprise when he discovered his pastor and his church was located in Portland, Oregon. He’s telling all his friends about Jesus and about his church and inviting others to join him.
  • People serving others — getting groceries for the elderly; delivering meals; giving needed hugs.
  • A dear friend, David, who lives in England, now talks with me on Zoom weekly. Previously, we only shared when I could make it over to visit about once a year. Because of all this, that’s changed for the better. .
  • New worship events like the outdoor Riots to Revival extend the gospel reach others.
  • My work with Simply the Story, an international storytelling ministry, has expanded due to the pandemic. Now offering monthly workshops on Zoom means the ministry can reach people in more countries previously hindered by travel and restrictions. In two recent workshops we had people from Saudi Arabia, England, Scotland, Thailand, the USA and Singapore.
  • Similarly, an outreach to Chinese college students has grown during this season with weekly studies offered to hundreds of students.
  • A friend wrote excitedly that because of the pandemic she and her husband had the opportunity to see her niece play soccer virtually on YouTube! Previously, they were not broadcasting the games.
  • Time with family for many has been enhanced with more contact, more check-ins, more opportunities for connection.
  • I finished writing a novel in the first months of the pandemic, which I am first publishing via this blog on Fridays and then also, hope to publish it in book form. And I have written another 160 pages of a second book. Indeed, God tied me down to write.
  • Karen, my wife, took up watercolor painting during the pandemic and has created beautiful pieces.
  • Prayer gatherings taking place across the nation.
Karen’s second watercolor (ever)

Remember — no matter what happens in the US election. No matter what comes with this pandemic. No matter what might yet happen in the future. Remember this — for herein IS light:

“I’m absolutely convinced that nothing — nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable — absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”

Romans 8: 38-39, The Message Translation

We need to share the light.

Keep walking in it!

And, write me a comment and let me know the light you have seen…

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