COVID may be reawakening virtues

Armstrong Williams | 10/8/2020, midnight
In COVID-19 our modern-day world is facing down a plague of Biblical proportions.
Armstrong Williams

In COVID-19 our modern-day world is facing down a plague of Biblical proportions. The pandemic has illuminated the woeful limitations of our earthly actions and provided a powerful reminder that we must reawaken ourselves and return to the virtues that undergird this remarkable nation.

As I write these words, our commander-in-chief and president, Donald J. Trump, has fallen ill with COVID-19 and is bravely fighting the virus after being temporarily hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center. We pray, as a nation, for a full recovery for him, our dignified First Lady, and all others afflicted by the coronavirus.

Even beyond the virus, these are truly tumultuous times. Over 5 million acres have been scorched on the West Coast. We have literally run out of names for this year’s unprecedented number of tropical storms and hurricanes. Riots and civil unrest have swept our nation, demanding a full return to law and order.

There has never been a time with more chaos, negativity and uncertainty; 2020 will go down in history as an infamous year that brought a perfect storm of unprecedented crises to America’s shores. However, I believe there may be a silver lining to all of this calamity. We presently are in a profound moment where we as a nation we can unite, recommit ourselves to our core values and take care of one another.

Perhaps this adversity has been a call for us to open our eyes, ears and hearts to God, and hear His message that fundamental changes in America are what is needed. Perhaps the confluence of chaos has been a signal to us to review how we live our lives, and then refocus and elevate our approach to dealing with one another.

1 John 4:20 reads: “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” And yet, in these tumultuous times, too often we have expressed more hate than love for our brothers and sisters across this amazing country.

We must not forget that as a country rooted in Judeo-Christian values, we are held to a higher standard when it comes to carrying ourselves with compassion and civility, grace and humility. We must do better at treating all Americans with kindness and respect to fulfill the mandate to love thy neighbor as thyself. Today, we have gone astray from these fundamental pillars of faith. In the face of so much adversity, we now have a precious moment to reflect on who we have become as a nation, and to recommit ourselves to improving. When we come out on the other side of these terrible circumstances, I hope that we focus less on what divides and more upon what unites us.

The full cost of the heartache, suffering and societal losses we have endured are hard to grasp. We have had to bury our loved ones and neighbors, without even the ability to hold them in our arms or sit beside and hold their hands as we say goodbye.

The legacy of the coronavirus must not be death and destruction; we must ensure that it instead marks a turning point toward more sensitivity and compassion. Just as Noah constructed his mighty Ark to endure 40 days and 40 nights of rainfall that destroyed the world, we must transform our country into a robust vessel that overcomes this storm. And we can start by fostering civility and grace instead of animosity, healing our wounds for the good of our people and replacing bad blood with kindness and forgiveness.

I believe in my heart that we will rise bravely to overcome the challenges before us. Ultimately, we will prevail as a nation more caring and spiritually and emotionally united than ever. If we can make that the true legacy of COVID-19, then the cursed virus will have actually been a blessing in disguise.