We’re in a time when the threat of infection and the fear of death disrupts all normal interactions between people. It is wise to take all reasonable precautions. And that is different for each person. Those who are most at risk need may need to adjust their life radically. We all need to play our part in inhibiting the spread of this virus. That is wise and it is loving towards our neighbour and our own families. We all need to make sacrifices to protect others.
But along with some wise actions, we have seen a lot of panic and selfish behaviour. Take for example the panic buying at our supermarkets.
In New Zealand luckily there was no panic buying of toilet paper,
but somehow the bread shelves are always empty when I get to the supermarket. That this is totally irrational can be seen by the fact that I can just wander down to the local bakery and there are plenty of loaves still available. It seems the panic buying is particularly prominent among those who are first of all consumers, rather than members of their community, who presume that all their shopping needs to come from the supermarket.
Similarly, I could not get any soap at the supermarket, so I ordered soap from the lovely lady we had met at the farmers market. It arrived at our house two days later.
It’s hard to get nappies for our baby. So we use our cloth nappies more.
My wider family are keen bakers, but we can’t get any flour at the supermarket. So we got together and ordered flour in bulk from a New Zealand mill, as we had discussed previously.
There are plenty of small businesses in New Zealand that are keen to sell healthy food and household items at this time. May we use this opportunity to review our consumption decisions. This is a good time to put into practice some of our good intentions, which we have been pushing off because of convenience.
As Christians we are called to be a non-anxious presence at this time, to engage as is appropriate in our situation. Also, as the ones who have hope beyond death, we do not need to fear death. Yes, this world is a lovely place and our death would create a void. It is right to value life on earth with every ounce of our being, but as Christians we do not fear death, for we know we’re falling into the hands of the loving God, who has conquered death.