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COVID-19 May Be Reawakening Virtues

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Hans Pennink

In COVID-19, our modern world is facing a plague of Biblical proportions. The pandemic has illuminated the woeful limitations of our earthly actions and provided a powerful reminder that we must 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 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 this calamity. We are in a profound moment where we can unite as a nation, recommit ourselves to our core values and take care of one another.

Perhaps this adversity has been a clarion call to open our eyes, ears and hearts to God, and hear His message that fundamental changes in America are 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, 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, America is held to a higher standard when it comes to the compassion and civility, grace and humility of our citizens. We must do better at treating all Americans with kindness and respect to fulfill the mandate to love thy neighbor as thyself. We must keep to these fundamental pillars of faith.

In the face of so much adversity, we have a precious moment to reflect on what 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 is hard to grasp. We've have had to bury loved ones and neighbors without holding them in our arms or sitting beside them to hold their hands.

The legacy of this novel coronavirus must not be death and destruction; rather, we must ensure that it marks a turning point toward sensitivity and compassion. Just as Noah constructed his mighty Ark to endure 40 days and 40 nights of rainfall, we must transform our country into a robust vessel that can overcome this storm. 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 that we will rise bravely to overcome the challenges before us. Ultimately, we will prevail as a nation more caring, and more spiritually and emotionally united, than ever. If we can make that the true legacy of COVID-19, then the cursed virus will have been a blessing in disguise.

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