What would be really meaningful for people today?  

One likely answer would be “knowing how to get back to normal,” having had our lives turned upside down for three years, and now having to face the consequences of stringent government mandates.   

Consequences like mental issues from lockdowns, adverse health effects, excess deaths, the economy in a tailspin, etc. It’s not surprising, then, that Greta Thunberg, the world renowned teenage expert on all things, said there’s “no back to normal.” 

So where’s that leave us? If what we had has been battered beyond repair, what would give meaning to life now? Well, how about this prayer heard by 23 million people in response to the frightening cardiac arrest suffered by Damar Hamlin (and who hasn’t heard of what happened to him?) Here was the prayer:

“God we come to you in these moments that we don’t understand, that are hard, because we believe that you’re God and coming to you and praying to you has impact. We’re sad, we’re angry, we want answers, but some things are unanswerable. We just want to pray, truly come to you and pray for strength for Damar, for healing for Damar, for comfort for Damar, to be with his family, to give them peace. If we didn’t believe that prayer worked, we wouldn’t ask this of you, God. I believe in prayer, we believe in prayer, and we lift up Damar Hamlin’s name in your name, Amen.”

That prayer was made while Damar Hamlin lay motionless on the field of play, and for at least nine minutes all attempts to revive him failed. So, was it that prayer and the prayers of many others that saved Damar’s life? And not just save his life, because just over a week later Damar was well enough to get so excited in hospital watching a football game that he set off the alarms in the ICU. So, was it prayer that did that for him? Who knows?

But one thing we do know is that millions of people immediately prayed. The players on both teams knelt down on the field, out in the open for all to see, and prayed. It just came to them to do that, as if it was quite normal.

So when we talk about getting back to normal, this was normal. Faced with a scary, extremely distressing situation, millions of people accepted it as quite normal that there’s another world in operation on this planet, that cares for us when we’re feeling helpless. 

Well, that’s something meaningful, isn’t it? – the knowledge that, tucked away inside us, it’s normal for us to turn to God when faced with scary, distressing situations. And that normal, Greta, IS possible to get back to, because it just happened, and to millions and millions of people all at the same time.    

One thought on “What would be really meaningful for people today?  

  1. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

    “For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.” (2 Cor 1:3-11, ESV)

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