Unlocking our spiritual side this lockdown

    08-May-2020
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TS Haokip
The stories are not just real but near; the virus is not just contagious but deadly. The news is no longer new; the same old story of the addition of thousands of affected people daily. The wait for Vaccination feels like watching, “Mission impossible-based on a true incident.” Depression and anxiety seem to get the better of many people. Still, there is something that promises, not just a hope for better days but beyond. In the past couple of months, we have seen tremendous growth in the number of people proclaiming their trust and hope in GOD. Social media feeds without religious songs, talks, notes, or quotes are rare.  Few are skeptical though of the newfound love.
 Skeptics’ Take
“Those seeking God only now when the world is gripped with a pandemic will see their faith soon fading away after normalcy returns,” observed a person. Another one adds.” Accepting the possibility of death by basking in the happy resolution of being prepared for the worst is an underestimation of the value of the precious life given to us by the almighty.” On the contrary, we have renowned preachers who have said that one of the few positives about the outbreak of Covid-19 is the increasing numbers of people looking for a source of hope and redemption; God.
The Evil World
If adversity brings out the worse in a person, there is no adverse situation in recent times graver than the present situation.  Men can be evil and selfish; this is evident in the sheer number of lawbreakers even after the existence of strict enforcement laws. Food scarcity, loss of employment, and the desire to stay healthy at any cost will eventually bring into being, ‘the survival of the fittest’ instincts in us. It is at this interval that believers are expected to play a pivotal role in restoring humanity otherwise even failed by established laws. While recent news of two renowned Doctors, who had dedicated their whole life for the service of people’s health, struggling to find a place for their mortal remains to be laid to rest, still is hard to be absorbed, many such instances of violence, hatred, discrimination, and enmity are reported in various places. China and the US are at diplomatic loggerheads with increasing tensions of mistrust and deceive. Will God help ease the tension? It depends on us, human.
Hope to Cope
The highly depressive news fed to us of the ever-increasing number of affected people and the deaths every day has its obvious psychological impact- fear and anxiety in most cases. The concern is now not a matter of little importance; psychologists have even prescribed different measures for people to follow to avoid mental lockdown. One fact which believers will agree is that prayer and singing/listening devotional songs have done wonders in addressing stress, not to mention the fulfilment of one’s duty towards God in doing so. Of all the remedies advised, one standout is to keep one’s hope and hang in there, which is what religions have always taught us. Faith and hope as curatives above much medicine, which many doctors too, admit, only proved that medical science alone does not constitute the art of healing. After 40 days, When the thought of just the virus itself is sickening enough, having someone to turn to and hope for is the only vaccine available now and lucky are those who have access to it.
End of World?
There are more things that we do not know about Covid-19 than what we proclaimed to have known. The latest news claimed that the Virus has mutated into 10 different types. Some people have even gone to the extent of claiming COVID-19 as the possible factor for the end of the world. While that is not only debatable, for God says only the father in heaven knows about the second coming, it can alter our hope from hoping things to improve for the better to surrendering to be saved in the eventual death facing us. While I am a firm believer that the end of one’s life is the second coming itself, I do not feel it worthwhile for any believers to speculate the end of the world. Yes, it can be the end of our world. Still, in so much as we believe in God, that thought should not worry us. Mark 13:32 32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Even if the word does end, the believers’ world will not end but rather it will begin. Our prayer and hope should instead be directed towards a better world where each of us has a responsible role. The purpose that God has for us should not and cannot be taken away by COVID-19.
Religious Responsibility
(1 Corinthians 13:13 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.) All religions speak about love, compassion, mercy and good deeds. While we attend our duties of spreading the love of God, there is no higher time than now to show with our acts the love and mercy in us to our fellow beings. Let us help the poor and the needy; let us ensure the homeless are sheltered before we build big temples- for, if God needs a home, it is in our hearts first. It is unfortunate how followers of religions can betray their God by engaging in fallacious acts detrimental to their fellow beings to the extent of causing serious disruptions in Governance, not to speak of the ultimate loss of lives. Religion should not be a reason to hate each other but to love one another befitting of the character of the followers of the Lord we worship.
Last But Not the Least
While it will be a folly to avoid all preventive norms and assign God to do everything, it will be more tragic a fate, not to have faith in the works of God. If even at the face of death, we do not turn to God, it is perceivable that we are yet to face death close enough. For those people making fun of the spiritual endeavours of people in these trying times, I wish to remind them of the story of ‘the penitent thief’. What our conducts in the past mean nothing if at present His will is not done by us. But a realisation and belief in God now will ensure that no matter what is our fate here on earth- we will rest in eternal peace. The satisfaction of knowing that we are saved and this world is not our home gives one among many other sublime feelings- the conviction to love people and respect them as one beautiful creation created in His image and not one to be left discriminated, abused, hurt, hungered and above all affected with the virus of hopelessness. Let us- find the love, be loved and spread the Love.