Today is Christmas Day and this Christmas is undoubtedly the strangest and saddest I have experienced in my lifetime. Still, the joy of Christmas always shines through. The Christmas spirt endures forever and the message of the season is everlasting. It can never be taken away, even in these uncertain times. It is truly heart wrenching, though, to see all the suffering in the world right now. It's only human. to be discouraged and dismayed at times. The key is not to be overwhelmed by despair.
"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair . . ."
2 Corinthians 4: 8-12
There is no sugarcoating it. COVID-19 is a nightmare, but I have tried to make the best of a terrible situation. I have found some silver linings, for which I am grateful. Fortunately, no one in my family has been struck by the virus and I am luckier than many people. I cannot, however, pretend that the past nine months have been easy. They have been extremely challenging. As Thomas Paine wrote in 1776, "These are the times that try men's souls."
I firmly believe we will all persevere, though. This COVID era shall pass because the world is ever-changing. The pendulum swings and life goes on. It moves in cycles. Human beings are resilient. A century ago, in 1920, people were recovering from the devastation of World War I, followed by a pandemic of influenza known as the Spanish flu. The Spanish flu was deadly, killing as many as 100 million or about a third of the world's population at the time. Some 50,000 Canadians died from that pandemic. It lasted from about February 1918 until April 1920. Since World War I didn't end until November 1918, it was still raging when the pandemic began. Imagine a world war and a pandemic at the same time!
The Great Depression began in 1929, followed by World War II. The world was hit with another double dose of death and destruction, but we endured and we will endure again. As 2020 draws to a close, vaccinations for COVID have begun, starting with health care workers and the elderly. I recently heard a news commentator say, 'There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it is a long, dark tunnel." Christmas is all about light and life.
"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined."