Every Sunday, she was distracted by that picture. Tried not to look for too long, because it made her uncomfortable, but she couldn’t get it out of her head. And there, just on a forgotten wall down the church hall. She thought maybe they should have covered up that picture years ago, like all the other ones. But for some reason, they forgot this one.

A couple of weeks ago some yahoo was threatening to destroy all the white Jesus paintings and statues because they fit the white supremacy narrative. My first reaction was the same as most over-exaggerations of our racial division in this country; how silly. But after further thought and listening, I came to see that his perception is not irrational. A black person might indeed have bad feelings toward the near unanimity of a European looking Jesus on the walls of homes and churches where African Americans were inhumanely treated up until the 60’s.  Quite honestly, I would hate to let a white Jesus stop a person from believing in the real Jesus.

We all look with a wary yet hopeful eye toward the future. We hear about the phased plan for reopening our state, for starting the great engine of our nation’s economy again. Every scheduled press conference gives us the promise of some sort of resolution, a way forward. Now these conferences do not seem to usually play out that way. They are often filled with extremely vague and elusive statements and the way forward, the way out of this crisis, the way back to some sort of normalcy is not very clear. We all want it. We all would be doing a lot better if there was a real plan with real dates with predictable results, but we just cannot seem to get there.

In 1940 after France surrendered and Germany appeared to be on its way to conquering all of Europe if not the globe, Winston Churchill gave one of the world’s greatest speeches. He concluded, “Let us, therefore, brace ourselves to our duties and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’”

One of the things we can all learn from this pandemic is how insanely connected our world is. An outbreak in Wuhan China can spread with frightening speed around the globe, shutting down whole countries and grinding international commerce to a halt. It is commerce that we need, commerce that plays with the stock market, which plays with our retirement plans, which effects our stress levels, which causes anxiety and fear. So, we stay home, but in staying home we fail to read a book or play card games with the family, no we turn on the internet and read the global news as we text our friends and facetime with our family members. We are bound up in the lives of others in ways never imagined a decade or so ago. We are more connected, more dependent, more aware of a world far outside of ourselves than ever before.