Wednesday Word: It's a Wonderful Life

We're all in this together.

My how things change in a week's time.

When I wrote last week's Wednesday Word we were beginning to hear of major closings around the state, country, and world. The Dioceses of Washington and Virginia closed all churches for the time being. Our bishop came out with a statement giving protocols for Communion and coffee hour, with the focus on a “low touch” or “no touch” Eucharist.

On Thursday we learned that the Diocese of Maryland would also require churches to suspend worship services and other gatherings until at least March 27 after the governor closed schools. My ecumenical colleagues followed suite, with some opting to close until April 1.

Yesterday the governor closed all restaurants and bars, gyms, and movie theaters. Washington County has declared a state of emergency. The City of Hagerstown has canceled council meetings through March. And the governor has just delayed the presidential primary, Preakness, and reduced public transit.

I spoke with my neighbor yesterday and she asked, “Have you been to the grocery store?? People are nuts. One man was buying up cases of bottled water because he thought the water lines would be shut off. And people are being mean.”

All of this reminded me of the bank scene in, “It's a Wonderful Life.”

I bring this up because, yes, we need to be careful. Yes, we need to practice healthy habits. Yes, we need to practice social distancing. But we also need to practice restraint. We need to realize that we aren't the only ones in this crisis. We've got to have faith in each other. We need fewer Toms and more Eds, Mrs. Thompsons, and Ms. Davis'.

We are living in times most of us have only read about – the plague, the cholera outbreak, the Spanish flu. We need to take this seriously and do what we can to remain safe and flatten the infection curve. But we also need to understand that we are all in this together. To forget that is to forget that our society, and our faith for that matter, are based in community. Because really, how much water, hand sanitizer, or toilet paper will one person actually need?

Be well,


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