Published On: Tue, Jun 30th, 2020

PANDEMIC PRISM PANDORA

How the Pandemic broke some light

IN Classical Mythology, the first woman, created by Hephaestus, was endowed by the gods with all the graces and treacherously presented to Epimetheus along with a box (originally a jar) in which Prometheus had confined all the evils that could trouble humanity. As the gods had anticipated, Pandora gave in to her curiosity and opened the box, allowing the evils to escape, thereby frustrating the efforts of Prometheus. In some versions, the box contained blessings, all of which escaped but hope.

I am not here going to write about the box of Pandora. But I draw the similitude where opposites coexist in this paradoxical world. Evils and blessings also escape into the atmosphere of our lives. What is left in the box is only hope.

Today, man is left only with one thing: hope. A glimmer, a ray, here and there. That is why hospitals still deliver babies. We thrive on Zoom. We long to go back to our offices. We want to live.

The Pandemic Prism has broken some light. It has brought home some revelations. It has broken some light for our onward journey. The vocabulary of the pandemic has brought some eternal truths into our lap. Here is a Prismatic View of the Pandemic.

PRECISION.

One of the effects of the pandemic is the acceleration of the digital world. Along with the digitalisation of our lives, even though most at home, we have learnt to submit to digital psychology. Digitalisation brought along with it a new dimension of precision. We have learnt to count the minutes and the seconds, when we skillfully jump from one meeting to another. We have learnt the art of timing our lives to the half-minute. Precision in our sorting out of our activities and commitments. Precision has become precious to the extent that time has become precious.

We believers turn to God. Who else is perfect in precision than He? The conscientious explorer of science (there are unconscientious ones too) is being drawn day by day closer to the fact that there is a creator of science who works on precision. Macro as well micro and nano as well as quantum. Precise and accurate.

We have many times before been told how the solar system clearly has not been thrown together by chance. The precision with which the solar system is designed is far greater than anything man has ever manufactured. I was thrilled when recently in the middle of a webinar of Eco civilization, two very highly qualified and experienced ladies ex-European Parliament acknowledged about how unique the earth was. There is nothing like it so far discovered by man. And precision has been His handprint.

So too history is full of His precision points. In the beginning and even now, till the end when there is no end, there is a precision underlying His language. Because He has only one language. That is the language of love. This defines His precision. The precision with which Jesus came into the world and split history with the fulfilment of prophecy, revealing more and more of the times and seasons from a superior perspective, points to a Master of Masters Designer.

We believe He has birthed you precisely at this time to bring His high thoughts concerning you to reality. He makes no mistakes. He is accurate and precise. You and I are at this point of time and at a place as this precisely because He has designed His goodness to be demonstrated to us. And through us. If you are reading this, He desires you to be saved. He desires you not to die in your sins. He desires to occupy that space which is meant only for Him. Paradoxically, you can find true living space only in Him.

Precisely, His Son’s blood has purchased you and you no longer belong to anyone else than Him, in order to have life. Had he not purchased you, you would have no hope.

Read Psalm 139.

RELATIONSHIPS

The advent of social distancing has heralded distant socialising. We have come to realise during the lockdowns that our relationships can make or break us. Beginning with our relationships at home, either with an abusive spouse or father, to the remote customer or partner, it has been proven again and again that the importance we give to building relations has an immense prize.

Interestingly, words play a very important part in the relationship. There is hardly a marriage which survives only on physical interactions and a mother knows the impact of words on the all-round growth of her child. We call it communication. And words are known to bring life or death; building up or pulling down happens through words.

“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:”

The most important relationship matters: that with God! It is either life or death. The faithful believer wants to walk in fellowship with His Saviour. He insists on communion with Him. He will not miss being with Jesus. He will not miss any opportunity to incubate with Him. He will strive for that holiness without which no man can see God. He will take time to be holy.

If you have begun that relationship, you must invest. Just as Moses waited 7 days on the Mount Sinai before God began speaking to Him and just as Mary sat at Jesus’ feet. To be with Jesus is your only calling.

Read Acts 4:13.

IMMUNITY

A consistent voice of advice which seemed to ring true from the beginning of the bad news of the pandemic and which resonated with our natural instincts of survival was the urge to build our immunity. In the midst of the confusion which surrounds the virus and its virulent nature, that one thing – to build our immunity – has its true ring tone. Of course, everyone has a solution to propose.

Building immunity is considered wise. So also in matters related to our spiritual battlefield. Our spiritual warfare involves “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

If we need to be aggressive in immunity, we need to take the advice of the Holy Spirit through Paul in Eph 6:11. We cannot stand otherwise. Every aspect of the armour is needed to be understood in full. Understanding follows perceiving, which follows hearing and reading. O, may we be led to the spiritual immunity which is brought by proximity to the presence of the Divine.

The carnal man is disarmed against spiritual enemies. The man who revels in pride, anger, hatred, greed or lust is already exposed to death by the sin virus. On the other hand, see how Paul says that, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Paradox plays in Paul’s paradisiacal life on earth.

SMALLNESS

There is greatness in smallness. A tiny invisible virus is ruling the world now – they say all the virus which has infected the entire world so far is less than a gram in weight. Being small is powerful. Being poor in spirit is immensely beneficial. It gives you access to the kingdom of heaven.

Indeed, the Lord compared the kingdom to a mustard seed, the least of all the seeds. “but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” And if you want to be great in God’s kingdom, you must learn to be the servant of all.

One of the lessons which pandemic lockdown has taught many of us is to become small. Get down on your knees and pray. Get in to your closet and pray. Get small in the sight of God. Get repentant. Get penitent. Not just for yourself, not just for your family, your organisation or church. Get repentant for your nation. For the world. Get into the role of an advocate for your city. Like Abraham.

Argue the case for your country with the Lord because He said “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” Get big through getting small for the sake of your beloved country.

There were many who became small and forgot their denomination and caste and creed when God brought them together from all over the country to love in action the abandoned migrant labour. These humble servants who went out every day to serve the travelling migrants became an army. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/an-inter-state-volunteering-group-that-helps-migrants/article31714800.ece

If you love, you become small. If you become small, you can do great things.

MODERATION

Strangely, the Bible refers to moderation in the context of the Lord’s second coming. “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” Phil 4:5! A sobering reason indeed for us to be tempered!

The lockdown gave all of us a thorough challenge in testing the capacity of our senses to be under the control of our mind. Lack of this trait gives rise to depression, anxiety, obesity, disease, fighting and violence.

There are three instances when the word temperance is used in the KJV Bible: Acts 24:25 (Paul driving Felix to trembling when he spoke of righteousness, temperance and judgment); Gal 5:23 (the fruit of the Spirit) and finally, Apostle Peter in his 2nd epistle 1:6. We must read from v.3.

3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

An eight-layered pyramid can never be destabilised. So it is with godliness.

PRECISION.
RELATIONSHIPS.
IMMUNITY
SMALLNESS.
MODERATION.

So here we have the PRISMATIC view of the learnings so precious and necessary for our preservation to eternity. There is always good in what the good Lord wishes us to experience, however bad they may be. There is always the working together for our good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Beloved, these are testing times. Albeit they are precious times. Let us discover the manifold purposes of God in all His doings. And be good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

About the Author

- Isaac Emmanuel lives in Navi Mumbai with his wife Eunice and three children. He fellowships at Mt. Carmel House of Prayer in Panvel.