In the darkness, it was felt from a distance. Swarming towards the little boarded-up house. Mother and father, protecting the children. Stocked the supplies, Rationed during the unknown night. Rest was far from watchful eyes because the terrors were not imaginary. Sickness, suffocation, infestation, and sores. They huddled scared, alone, together. Locked down, apart.
They heard a hum outside the window, but dared not breathe the air. They saw friends and family secured in boxes. Alone was redefined, and was now the safest preference. The buzzing, fuzzy-sounding talking preached “together” was the problem. That we have become a plague unto our own. People don’t need people, just earbuds and a screen. People don’t need people, because that leads to killing grandma. People don’t need people, you have all you need inside.
Our foundational fears of life and death resurfaced. With the dawn of the modern plague. What must I do to survive? What must I do to be saved? What must I do to make the world safe? Scrolling fingers and shining midnight pixels began to create an impressive garden. Raising up influencers, dressing up avatars, fertilizing the ground of self-alone-improvement. The sickness grew a new generation, in a solitary year.
Our ancient struggles in life and death, are nothing new. However, outside of this disease, God would answer. He spoke outside of fear and wonder as the Author of Creation. He acted in empirically observable ways, so His external truth could assure. When death came to terrify, God sent His only son. When life felt meaningless, His eternal words of meaning lasted beyond both life and death. When the sinful misguided self created without the Creator, eventually reality screamed “no”.
Hindsight now reveals that this plague was not released outside the window, beyond the bolted door. Alone was redefined, and the self was set free. Inside. Self-creating individuals are now plagued by their own inventions. Chopping up their own bodies, according to their self-made image. Tearing up their own history, based on the passions of the moment. Interchanging emotion for fact, in each individually authentic experience. The plague of our parasitic self. Left to breed and grow. In our minds. Alone.
Turbulent times had befallen before, this is not the first time. When the inner-self attempts to overthrow the external establishments. Be it government or God, the church stood tall to fight. Humans cannot recreate their reality, they cannot solve death. The ultimate answer to all life and death is found in the Word outside of oneself. But the plague swelled the pride. The virus enflamed the heart. We could no longer hear or understand anything that was external. Technology could create a world we had only imagined. But our hard-check external reality no longer could be sensed outside of the self.
The church was always able to fight the individual’s grab for power. External verses internal. Until the church grew into the virus. Now protecting the infestations of the self. Now insulating the power of alone. The wisdom of the ages had switched sides, granting favor to the feelings and emotions of internal safety. The wisdom of the eternal supported new life by the local authority of the bloated individual. In a pandemic crisis, God conceded to our sickly self-proclaimed god.
Stay at home. The distance is preferable. Don’t meet. Don’t eat. Physical presence is not that important. This is my body, given for you, somewhere else, on a screen perhaps.
And what now? When our ears had already swollen closed. That is nothing new. But now compounding silence, the church gave up her voice. She’s choking on the virus within the walls of our own hearts. Unintentionally infecting her children beyond our flash of panic. When she sang to us a foreign song of life.
The gnawing darkness began to bleed. Starting from the heart and soul, soaking every cell perceived. The world has faded into veins and feelings. Where she no longer can touch our forehead. Where she no longer tastes like bread. Where she no longer breathes on people.
Plague of momentary safety. Behind your screen. She soothed our fears.
It is good to be alone.