BLOG: CORONAVIRUS

David
Snell

Fuller center for housing PRESIDENT

David has been a leader in affordable housing for 30 years starting with Habitat in Tijuana, then as the director of Habitat Education Ministries followed by 7 years as president of Habitat for Humanity Colorado. A co-founder of The Fuller Center, David traveled the world extensively as the Vice President for Programs before the board elected him President following Millard Fuller’s death in 2009. David continues to travel the globe extensively.

A Fuller Center homeonwer's child in Armenia prays over a Bible.

Now is the time to reflect and draw closer to God

The Bible is full of stories of how strife causes God’s people to turn back to Him for refuge.  We are living through such a time now.  A tiny virus has turned the world upside down and things we took for granted just weeks ago are now matters of concern.  For all of our technological advancements we’re still a fragile species, and one very much in the need of a loving Father in Heaven.

Times like this are stressful, largely because of the uncertainty that attends them.  We simply don’t know what will come next, and so far each day seems to bring more challenges than the day before.  I stopped by the supermarket this morning to see if there was any corned beef left.  There wasn’t.  But beyond that there was very little meat at all.  The shelves looked like something out of Venezuela or the old Soviet Union — a sobering shopping experience.

It’s hard to avoid the news, which is nonstop and scary.  I haven’t yet been quarantined, but several of our staff have and I know a number of folks who are staying home just to be safe.  We’re changing the way we live our lives—we’ve become obsessive about hand-washing, we keep our social distance from one another, we don’t shake hands or, God forbid, hug one another. 

So what, then, do we do to keep our chins up and stay brave?  For one thing we look to the future.  Despite the dire warnings, most professionals tell us that this will pass.  Imagine how meaningful a handshake or hug will be when that happens, or how sweet the taste of communion wine.  We need to look forward, with hope.  We should seek ways of reaching out to those with special needs and make sure that they are adequately supplied—there’s no better way to deal with anxiety than getting outside of ourselves to tend to others.

It’s timely that this is happening during the season of Lent, a time of reflection and growing closer to God.  My thoughts turn to those whom we here at The Fuller Center serve.  I’m struck by how blessed we are that, despite the chaotic moment we’re living through, most of us have a safe, secure place to call home.  I worry for those who don’t.  I think of those in Panama City and Puerto Rico who are still struggling to put their lives back together, and for those in Nashville who are just beginning the process.  And I think of the millions of families around the world who live in conditions that none of us would tolerate.  These are people whose lives we can touch, if not in person just now, then through our gifts.

I think that the best thing we can to do to get past this crisis is to love ourselves through it.  We need to spend less time thinking about how this is affecting us and more working to ease the burden of others.  We need to do what Jesus counseled—to love one another.

And we need to restore our faith.  The Lord promised to Ezra that “If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

We’ll get through this present crisis, and we will surely be changed by it.  My prayer is for those changes to be good ones, that we come out of this as better people and a stronger and more righteous nation.

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2 Comments

  • Yes, thank you for the very eloquent declaration – that while this is a time to be cautious, it is certainly not a time for followers of Jesus to just hide away and ignore the great suffering of so many people in refugee camps, detention centers, poverty-stricken countries of all types, etc. Moreover, the best way to avoid the paralysis of fear is through compassionate action! We have a lot of very exciting work to do these days, haven’t we? Let’s move ahead with it, brother. That’s exactly why we started Habitat for Humanity half a century ago and Fuller Center for Housing more recently. God helps us when we reach out to help others.

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