The zombie virus
I use Instagram for kicks and giggles; I like memes, so I was not expecting it. A video of a Black person being choked out on a train floor while people watched- as if it was a sport. He was aggressively yelling, and the response was to choke him for 15 minutes! I wept. All I could think was, “Lord have mercy on us,” “Lord forgive us,” “Lord, help us.” The person being choked on the floor is now dead. The person choking him and those watching are deader – less human. A few weeks ago, a person was stabbed, and no one helped. I can list incidents where people stood by or walked away in the face of human distress. Why? I can promise that any reasoning presented will not comfort the ongoing anguish of my heart.
My partner likes The Walking Dead, a post-apocalyptic show where a virus turned people into zombies– we are there now. We are zombies. We all suffer a collective condition now. The virus is in our hearts; it has deadened our souls, blinding our eyes to each other. Where has our compassion gone? Where is the human ability to empathize with all forms of suffering? It is tempting to dismiss suffering because there is so much of it – it can be overwhelming, and the solution complex. Speaking up and offering a helping hand is something we can all do. God weeps every time we turn our faces away; when you turn away from a person’s distress, you turn away from God.
The beloved apostle said beautifully, 1“Beloved let us love one another for love is of God, and anyone who loves is born of God and knows God, those who loves not knows not God because God is love” Love has now become a cliché. We say we love people, yet we often purposefully hurt those people; we neglect and dismiss their suffering. We withhold care claiming to want to ‘find’ a solution to the root of the problem and never arrive at it – this is not love. Love is patient. Love cares more about others than for itself. It does not envy. It does not boast; it is not proud. It does not dishonor others; it is not self-seeking… love has action. Love that remains in the realm of theory is imaginary. As the people of Jesus Christ, there must be action to prove love. The only cure for our collective zombie state is actionable love, one that endures. Let us not just tell people about Jesus without reaching out to help them off the floor. Without action, you insult their humanity with the name of Jesus.
“A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are dead,” and we watched it happen.
1 1 John 4:7; 2 1 Corinthians 13:4, 3 Jeremiah 31:15