My friend Brenda Burgess, writer and editor and I were discussing the pandemic and how it was affecting the United States and South Africa where she lives. She sent me a quote from C.S. Lewis from an article by Matthew Omolesky that she had read concerning living in this age of pandemic.
“What might CS Lewis say of our new COVID situation? … Here’s what he said in 1948 about the mental shift required by living with the threat of the atomic bomb ~ Brenda Burgess
In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”
In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
“On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948) in Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays”
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
In the midst of crisis we can trust in Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
We can help share hope with those who are struggling with real life issues and losses. Though the earth be shaken, God commands our confidence and trust be put in Him. In a world that encourages us to believe in ourselves and to achieve all we deserve, it’s paramount to understand who and Whose we are.
I am praying for you and that God will supply you with all of the faith and confidence you need to walk through the many trails and trials set before you. It is important to have good friends and also to be a good friend.
Brenda and I became What’sApp Pals just as the pandemic was hitting and have continued to enjoy spending time together and learning about each other’s lives and families. I have also taken several of Brenda’s Creative Writing Workshops on Zoom and she is a fantastic editor. To find out more about Brenda check out her website at http://brendaburgesseditor.com
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And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.Philippians 1:6