Exposed by ‘Rona’
In the midst of life as we know it shutting down, something deeper is happening beneath the service in the heart of humanity… a necessary exposure and cleansing… a shifting in the priorities of our hearts… an awakening.
My mother, who has raised 9 kids on the mission field of Japan and watched us grow, struggle, and develop into the adults each of us are today, sent us a poem this week that beautifully illustrates the sweet and painful exposure of our brokenness that this pandemic has afforded all those with eyes to see and ears to hear. Here it is. It was written by Sarah Bourns.
We’ve all been exposed.
Not necessarily to the virus. (Maybe…who even knows?)
We’ve all been exposed BY the virus.
Corona is exposing us.
Exposing our weak sides.
Exposing our dark sides.
Exposing what normally lays far beneath the surface of our souls, hidden by the invisible masks we wear.
Now exposed by the paper masks we can’t hide far enough behind.
Corona is exposing our addiction to comfort.
Our obsession with control.
Our compulsion to hoard.
Our protection of self.
Corona is peeling back our layers.
Tearing down our walls.
Revealing our illusions.
Leveling our best-laid plans.
Corona is exposing the gods we worship:
Our sense of security.
Our favorite lies.
Our secret lusts.
Our misplaced trust.
Corona is calling everything into question:
What is the church without a building?
What is my worth without an income?
How do we plan without certainty?
How do we love despite risk?
Corona is exposing me.
My mindless numbing.
My endless scrolling.
My careless words.
My fragile nerves.
We’ve all been exposed.
Our junk laid bare.
Our fears made known.
The band-aid torn.
The masquerade done.
So what now? What’s left?
What Corona reveals, God can heal.
There is so much truth in these words… So much has been stripped away by this pandemic so we can finally see our hearts the way God sees us… utterly exposed and hopeless apart from him.
Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.”
This is a time of great reckoning where all our facades of religion, wealth, prestige and worldly comforts are being ripped off of us and for the first time, many of us are seeing clearly what God has seen all along… Our true self… in all its mess and brokenness yes, but also in all its belovedness and glory as image-bearers of God. What matters most in our identity and existence is rising to the top.
This is why this very virus that has plagued our human existence as many of us have known it, can actually be seen as a grace to humanity that is setting us free to become honest with ourselves about the false gods we have worshipped and existed for and the chaos, injustice and brokenness that has resulted. Our passions and affections have been so misdirected, and the racism, classism, sexism and every other ‘ism’ that has emerged from these dark idolatrous hearts and plagued this world even worse than COVID-19, can not be ignored any longer. The pride, selfishness, greed, lies, lust, and addictions of humanity has come into the light and we can’t deny it any longer or hide behind any of our cardboard castles of comfort and security we thought could protect us.
We must now face our idols and see them for what they are… False gods who promised a false paradise. These temporal pleasures and amenities we thought were giving us what we really wanted were actually the very things keeping us from what our souls actually needed, and the true paradise we were designed to exist for.
But God in all His mercy… BUT God…
What a God we serve who doesn’t leave us in our mess but instead takes the very mess we have made out of things and uses something as tragic as COVID-19 to turn that mess into fertilizer that grows us more into the image of Christ. What was intended for evil, He has turned for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes for us and this beautiful world He has created (Romans 8:28-31, Genesis 50:20).
Our Father IS good, and His living Word, Christ in us, exposes all the false selves that seek to take us. His sweet Spirit never stops bringing us back to the reality of our utter belovedness and righteousness that is found in Him alone…
“So what now? What’s left?
What Corona reveals, God can heal.”
Out of the ashes, we rise, burned but purified, wounded but healed, wrecked yet restored. The possibility of a fuller humanity for all of us sits on the tip of our tongue… longing, waiting to be sung into existence.
It’s our time to sing it out and watch the nothing broken, nothing missing peace of the Kingdom of God be made visible here on earth as it is in heaven.