Support the Café

Search our Site

Fragments on Fragments #6: Being Human in a Pandemic

Fragments on Fragments #6: Being Human in a Pandemic

 

6 Nature loves to hide (or, Things keep their secrets)

 

Is this an invitation, a challenge or a threat? Unlike Heraclitus, we live in a time in which much of nature has been defined, controlled, dissected. Increasingly we feel that it must be someone’s fault when a force of nature has its way. We human beings are supposed to have such power that only incompetence or malice can have let the disaster happen.

 

That partly explains the conspiracy theories around the origin of the coronavirus which causes COVID-19. Surely it can’t just have happened, without some human action or inaction? But it did, and this very hidden piece of nature, this virus so small you need an electron microscope to see it, is present and powerful. It has come out of hiding while remaining invisible, the most frightening of enemies, the one you can’t see. 

 

One of the deepest rooted human fears, even more so than the fear of illness, is the fear of the stranger. We are all hard-wired to trust most those whom we know best, sometimes despite the evidence. The pandemic has fed on those fears. Although there is no more reason to suppose that a stranger is carrying the virus than your family and friends, we are all inclined to believe that those we know well are safe to be with, and those we don’t, not so much. 

 

Scientists and doctors are unravelling the secrets of the coronavirus. The more difficult task is for us all to be aware of our own hidden nature. If we allow the pandemic to increase our suspicion of others, to push us into permanent fear of the other, the damage may be as great as that caused by the disease.

 

Fragments on Fragments are written by the Right Reverend Jonathan Clark, Bishop of Croydon in the Church of England. He introduces the whole series here. Alongside the words is an image by Alison Clark of a broken sand dollar, gilded in reference to the Japanese practice of kintsugi: you can find more of her work here.

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café