All pandemics eventually pass.  One day COVID-19 will be in the rear-view mirror.

But in the meantime, infections are rising dramatically in our own backyard.  ICU’s are near capacity.  Most sadly, death counts are mounting as second and third waves of the virus wash through our communities.  Restrictions on individual liberties and the economy are again being imposed.  The Coronavirus has transformed all our lives.

But when it’s over, what should we remember?  What should we hope for?  What should we appreciate?  What should we value and understand?  Perhaps in ways we do not now.

Here’s my top-ten list* of what I’m hoping for.  What’s yours?

I hope we don’t forget the images of gowned and masked doctors and nurses working in unbelievably challenging circumstances trying to save lives while keeping themselves healthy for their next shift.

Thank you, God, for your gifts of healing through the medical profession. 

I hope we better appreciate the role our elected leaders play in helping keep citizens safe, and we elect politicians who listen to informed experts.  Governing in the face of conflicting public opinion and opposing media is incredibly difficult.  Politics do matter!

Thank you, God, for those we have elected to lead us under your sovereign hand.  Remind us to lift them up in prayer.

I hope the next time we interact with a grocery clerk, watch a maintenance person sanitizing a public floor, or see a truck driver pull up with essential goods, that we will not take them for granted, but instead see them as vital to the healthy and sustained functioning of our communities, and we will stop and thank them when we can.

Thank you, God, for those who serve us in roles we too often take for granted, who make our lives livable, and who are worthy of living wages. 

I hope we appreciate the essential role science plays in finding cures for diseases and creating new technologies that have allowed us to remain connected to loved ones.

Thank you, God, for revealing the secrets of your created universe to scientists, researchers and innovators who improve our lived experience.

I hope when we see a single mom drop a child off at a day-care, or a grandmother relieve a harried parent, or a local teacher struggling to connect online with 30 students, or a homeless shelter worker returning home exhausted, that our hearts will be filled with gratitude for those who invest their days on behalf of others in need.

Thank you, God, for the countless numbers of people who lead us by example with their compassion. 

I hope we will have gained a new appreciation for the smooth functioning of our complex logistics supply lines that each day bring us food, medicines and goods for living from over thousands of kilometers.

Thank you, God, for truckers, for railway engineers, for pilots, for high seas captains, for those who load cargo, and for those who deliver the mail on time. 

I hope we see the incredible value in modern medicines, in vaccines that stave off death for millions each year, and understand the horrors that can happen when we don’t have herd immunity to protect the most vulnerable among us.

Thank you, God, for those who devote their lives to the fields of immunology, epidemiology, infectious diseases, immunization, and drug therapy.  Grant success to those searching for safe, efficacious medicines that will save lives.

I hope we will discern that not everything a news anchor, opinion pundit, or social media feed says is true.  People are easily lead astray.  Discernment of fact from distortion, and science from conspiracy, is vital to all our futures.

Thank you, God, for the ability to discern what is right, and true, and good; and for those devoted to exposing falsehood and drawing out facts. Spare us from those with impure motives who lead others astray through manipulation.

I hope we appreciate more what contributes to our mental health – the importance of relationships, of simple conversations, of shutting off our little screens and going outdoors for an invigorating walk, of breathing fresh air, of hearing the birds sing.

Thank you, God, for the soul’s delights of enjoying your creation, of being able to travel and experience new vistas, or talking with neighbours, for the opportunity to slow down, find balance, dance to music, make art, read a new novel, send an encouraging note.

These are days when the world is uncertain.  When we emerge from the other side of this pandemic let’s cherish “normal.” Let’s appreciate the resilience and compassion of the human spirit.  Let’s resolve to shine the light of God’s love in dark places.

Blessings for the journey ahead,

Gordon Dirks

Corpath President

(*With thanks to Meg Nyberg for her list in the Des Moines Register)