Wisdom of History

Pandemic Wisdom: Hear and See, Understand and Perceive

Help each person as urgently as if they are Jesus. (Matthew 25:35-40). Hear their suffering. Understand how to help them. See their suffering. Perceive how to help them. (Matthew 13:13; Isaiah 6:9-10).

Jesus warned us not to be someone who:

“Though seeing, they do not see;

      though hearing, they do not hear or understand. (Matthew 13:13).

Such people fulfill this prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;

      you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.

For this people’s heart has become calloused;

   they hardly hear with their ears,

   and they have closed their eyes.

Otherwise they might see with their eyes,

   hear with their ears,

   understand with their hearts

and turn, and I would heal them.”

         (Matthew 13:14-15; citing Isaiah 6:9-10).

During the Pandemic, this means we must see and hear all the sufferings of all the people.

We must see and hear the suffering of those who are sick and dying. We must see and hear the suffering of the families and friends who love those who are sick and dying.

We must see and hear the suffering of health professionals who fight to save those who are sick and dying. We must see and hear the suffering of those who provide essential services such as operating grocery stores and buses.

We must see and hear the suffering of those whose small businesses are suffering and dying. We must see and hear the suffering of those whose jobs are suffering and dying.

We must see and hear the suffering of those who wait in “long lines” for money. We must see and hear the suffering of those who wait in long lines for their daily bread.

We must see and hear the suffering of those whose hopes and dreams are suffering and dying.

It is hard to understand what we are hearing and to perceive what we are seeing.

Why?

Our hearts are calloused.

We have become like the rich man who ignored Lazarus. (Luke 16:19-31). In our lives, we have gotten so used to seeing suffering and dying by poor people and by people of color, that we no longer notice those who are suffering and dying.

Furthermore, we must do more than hear and see. We must also understand and perceive what is causing the suffering and dying. We must also understand and perceive how to help those who are suffering and dying.

How?

We must live on every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3).

Which words from the mouth of God are most urgent in these dark times? There are many possibilities.

However, in this crisis, I think the most important words for us to hear are the words of Jesus recorded in the 25th Chapter of Matthew. The Way of Jesus is the way of helping those in need—those who are suffering and dying—as urgently as if they are Jesus himself. (Matthew 25:35-40).

If a person is hungry, treat them as if they are Jesus. Give them food!

If a person is thirsty, treat them as if they are Jesus. Give them water!

If a person is homeless, treat them as if they are Jesus. Give them shelter!

If a person lacks clothing, treat them as if they are Jesus. Give them clothing!

If a person is sick, treat them as if they are Jesus. Look after them!

If a person is in prison, treat them as if they are Jesus. Visit them!

Therefore, in this Pandemic, treat everyone who is suffering and dying as if they are Jesus.

Help those who are suffering and dying. Help those who love them. They are Jesus!

Help those health professionals fighting to save those who are sick and dying.  Help those providing essential services such as operating grocery stores and buses. They are Jesus!

Help those whose small businesses are suffering and dying. Help those whose jobs are suffering and dying. They are Jesus!

Help those who wait in “long lines” for money. Help those who wait in long lines for their daily bread. They are Jesus!

Help those whose hopes and dreams are suffering and dying. They are Jesus!

Then our hearts will understand.

We will turn to the Way of Jesus.

God will heal our Promised Land—and our civilization—until it is good, it is very good.

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To learn more about Pandemic Wisdom, please read my blogs “Fear Not the Pestilence That Stalks in the Darkness”, “Getting Out of Your ‘Tent’”, “Trusting The LORD Will Provide”, and “Pandemic Wisdom: Praying and Waiting”.

To learn about Isaiah’s calling to heal the Promised Land, please read the chapter “Isaiah’s Vision” in my book Healing the Promised Land, at pages 239-251.