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Striving for Righteousness During Lockdown

The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. 
–Proverbs 22:3
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. 
–Psalm 46:1–3
Both the above verses are true, though on the surface, they may appear to convey conflicting ideas. In the proverb, a wise person flees from danger while a foolish person continues on carelessly. But in the Psalm, the protagonist is surrounded by danger, but refuses to believe that his circumstances are greater than His God. How then can they harmonize? The proverb is speaking about wisdom and folly. The Psalm is speaking about God and fearless worship. And the question in my mind is: which one speaks to our situation in San Jose, California during the COVID-19 lockdown?
The answer is, both.
Adopting the attitude of the Psalmist does not mean imitating the fool of the proverb. It is possible to be safe, compliant with CDC guidelines, and obedient to the city’s stay and shelter order while also fearlessly worshipping God by serving your neighbors. Here are a few ideas on how.
1. Offer To Help
Some people have written letters to their neighbors letting them know that they have food and toilet paper to share if anyone runs out and can’t get more. Other’s have made their presence and desire to help known in other ways (via Next Door etc.). Consider finding a way to let your neighbors know that they are not alone, that someone nearby is praying for them and wants to help them get through this.
2. Meet A Need
If you want a real, needful, tangible way to bless the at risk population in San Jose, you can buy meals for seniors through the Santa Clara County website here. Alternatively, there are a whole list of volunteer opportunities at the new Silicon Valley Strong website that you can find here. If you aren’t able to leave your home or donate money, consider calling in order to spend some time speaking with older, single, or at risk people. Let them know you care, and you want to be available to them during the lockdown. Being home all day, with no ability to leave, is an extremely lonely calling for those who live by themselves.
3. Patronize Local Restaurants and Business 
This might feel more risky than the first two, but local businesses understand how nervous you are about ingesting the virus. In response they are being extremely careful and clean. If we eat out, then restaurants don’t have to lay off service workers. 
4. Be Kind And Friendly In Public
When I go out into public to get groceries or take a walk, I can see the deep underlying concern on most peoples faces. Saying something kind, funny, or thoughtful can be an unanticipated fountain of blessing in times like this. The Lord taught us: Blessed are those who make-peace. And that applies, not only to conflict, but also for those fraught with worry. As the proverb says “A gentle tongue is a tree of life” (Prov 15:4).
Have you thought of other safe and wise ways to bless your neighbors? Please share them with the church! I’m praying for each of you as you seek to walk in fearless faith while honoring our authorities and glorifying the Lord.

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