Experience To Believe

The calendar app icons on my Apple iOS devices says “1”. We have flipped to a new month. Half a year is now past. I dig out a new pair of contact lenses for the month. Change the filters on the HVAC system. Pay bills. Monthly rituals.

We are also maybe 18 months through the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Covid has become a familiar word in almost every language. But like all such events in history, it seems to be about at the end of its race. It feels strange to be gathering without masks or looking at others with suspicion—are they spreaders?

Many people still think that the whole pandemic thing was just a media ploy to spread fear from a political agenda. I learned a long time ago not to even try to change people’s minds when they are firmly made up.

I wrote some thoughts yesterday reflecting on seeing is believing. Today, I approach from a different angle. I wonder, do people not believe the pandemic is real simply through lack of experience? If they never got sick, and if no one close to them got sick, then maybe it is not real?

I wonder if Christianity in many places might suffer from the same syndrome. People want to believe. Many fervently wish to believe. But maybe there is no experience of God reaching directly into their lives. They have never experienced those fruit of the spirit—love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

That is the real tragedy. To be so close, and yet so far.

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