A lack of empathy for so many deaths is an indication of just how spiritually sick our country is right now.
[Jesus said] “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
I read that today Spain is beginning a ten-day period of official national mourning for those who have died because of the coronavirus. Flags will be lowered to half-mast everywhere in remembrance of the 27,000 Spaniards who have died in the last couple of months.
The United States is on the brink of passing the 100,000 victim mark today or tomorrow. I cannot imagine our national leadership calling for an official period of mourning in our country as we pass this milestone. In almost every state, people are aggressively forgetting the reality of their continued vulnerability, encouraged by leaders at every level, leaders in government and leaders in religion.
Minimizing the toll is part of this. Nothing feels different to me, many say. One hundred thousand, it’s a lot, but a lot of people are expendable. A lot of black and brown people died, a lot of old and sick people, but I can’t tell the difference and we’re probably better off without them. The herd has been culled, and we’re stronger when the losers are gone.
We follow a man who taught us that everyone counts. Jesus assures us that we are valuable in God’s eyes, even as many around us are busy assuring us that we are worthless. We can see just how spiritually sick our society is when we contrast Jesus’ teaching about the value of every person with the lack of empathy that has met so many coronavirus deaths.
Right now, spend a moment in prayer and solidarity with those who have lost loved ones, those who are in mourning. Spend a moment resisting the loud message blaring in our country that it’s back to business as usual with hardly a hiccup. Meditate for a moment on what has been lost. Remember Jesus’ words that we all matter to God, and so should matter to each other.