Well, who would have thought when I wrote my January blogpost about not buying stuff, that two months on people would be panic buying, and supermarket shelves would be empty. Even in the last few weeks, as part of my Lenten thoughts, I have been considering aspects of abundance and scarcity. Still, even now I feel that I live with abundance and not scarcity. But as we have seen in recent days, part of our evolutionary heritage is that we have an inbuilt ‘scarcity complex’. It’s human nature to stockpile when faced with crisis. Over most of history (and pre-history), the human race has been faced with crises of one sort or another. Not knowing whether there would be enough food or fuel to last a winter, war, natural disasters, and plenty of disease. For most reading this, we are in a privileged position of always having more than enough—of having all our needs met. But even in our affluent society we know that many struggle daily to meet the needs of themselves and their families. Elaine reminded people last week in a Facebook post to continue donating to the food bank. Those needs don’t go away, but with people hoarding goods they in fact make the situation worse.
This is a time when our Christian faith can have an opportunity to shine in the darkness. We put our trust in God, but those of us who are able can assist with those who are less able, those who are struggling. Offering to get shopping, or just have a chat (even on the phone) to someone who might be feeling lonely. Of course, it’s not just in times of crisis that we should be doing these things, but maybe during these times we should make a more concerted effort.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12)
These times can bring out the worst in people but they can also bring out the best in people. There are some scary stories out there about what people are doing, but there are some good stories too. Let us be part of the good story— let us ‘shine among them like stars in the sky’ (Philippians 2:15b).