1. I remember that day, 9/11. It was chaos. Violence, shortage of food. For several days, it was uncertain if there would be more attacks, what kind, nukes? Chemical scare with a dangerous powder being sent in sealed letters to members of Congress and key leaders. Lines to buy gasoline and food, mosques targeted, Dow Jones losing half of the value… and nobody knew for how long or if we will ever recover.
I remember how bad I wanted that someone I trusted, a pastor or a father figure, appear on TV and look into the camera, smiling, reassuring all of us that everything was going to be all right. I didn’t want all the instructions and advice given by professionals of how to be safe in case of more terrorist attacks or riots. All I wanted was someone, a charismatic figure, a FDR, someone looking like Roosevelt – what a great communicator – to show up and say – dear friends, be calm, in less than a month everything is going to be great. Just don’t panic and don’t assume the worse… We have nothing to fear except fear itself.
2. I remember the stock market crash of 2008. People panicked, confused and scared. All that prosperity, all that market buzz of more profit, buy, buy, buy, was a bubble that suddenly did burst spectacular. Maybe this is not a good word. Anyways, evictions, foreclosures, unemployment, panic.
I remember how bad I wanted that someone I trusted, a pastor or a father figure appear on TV and look into the camera, smiling, reassuring me, reassuring all of us, that everything was going to be OK. I didn’t want all the instructions and advice given by professionals of how to stay safe in case of a shooting or riots. All I wanted was someone, a charismatic figure, a kind of Ronald Reagan – what a great communicator – to show up and say – dear friends, be calm, in short time everything is going to be all right. Just don’t panic and don’t assume the worse…
3. Now today our governor announced tougher measures in order to keep the virus scare under control. Shortage of masks and gloves, zero toilet paper, even some foods not available like before. And people got tense. They’ve lost their smile, their patience, they’ve lost the hope that we will ever get out from this healthcare nightmare and economy collapse. They are turning to politicians only to hear statistics. They are turning to preachers only to hear clichés. And they panic.
I want so bad to watch on prime time TV a charismatic figure, a kind of Mister Rogers – what a great communicator – smiling while saying something I heard him say before, “dear friends, when I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping’”.
1-Look for helpers. 2-Be a helper, yes. 3-Remember, also, that help is on the way, Christ is going to get us saved, out of this sin-quarantined place.
Help is on the way; hope is the only way.
Ovidiu Rădulescu pastors the Hammond Seventh-day Adventist Church in Indiana, USA.