There once was a land filled with prosperity and bounty – a place where the majority of its inhabitants had forgotten how to love one another – an expanse of human life that was creating a network of relationships from the confines of their homes. There was no need to touch one another. You could simply send a smiley face or a few hearts to show you cared. Those who had not experienced the good life – those who lived in the streets – those lost and forgotten souls, were drawn deeper into their own shells.
Suddenly life changed. People retreated to their homes as a pandemic struck the world. Some said it was a punishment from God, while others considered it a temporary inconvenience. Through their doors they withdrew. This was now their safe place.
The land had become empty. Not only were the numbers decreasing, the face to face contact was now done on an electronic device. Most businesses were selling their wares on the internet, leaving no need for workers to stock shelves or greet you with a smile. Those who relied on entertaining and teaching others were submitted to a cloistered existence. For those who love people – the extroverts, the compassionate, the friendly – this was devastating. For those who loved their privacy, it was a boon, but not for long.
All over the world people were cocooning. Their outer world was now their inner domain. They felt limited, alone, frightened and longed for life the way it once was.
Every day was filled with bad news. The picture painted for the future was dark indeed. It was beginning to seem that their former existence would never return again. Out of the darkness, out of desperation, because of loneliness they began to use the one tool available to them. In order to connect, they emailed, texted, sent emojis, Zoomed and used other electronic means to communicate, to teach, to learn. Eventually the air waves couldn’t handle it and it all came crashing down.
The world was no longer the same. Everyone felt the hope being sapped from them. Even in the confines of their homes, surrounded by family, they felt alone. The planet had suddenly become dark.
There in the midst of the darkest hour, a small light began to shine in the sky. It was no bigger than the tiniest star. It approached the earth with astronomical speed, cutting through the ebony skies and piercing the murkiness which enshrouded the firmament. It was the same light that filled the sky over two thousand years before. A star like none other. It glowed with warmth and hope. As it approached, people began to venture out of their sanctuaries. They weren’t afraid. They hugged and embraced. They talked to each other. They felt the community of being together once more.
The brilliance of that once tiny star had now illuminated the shadows. A voice spoke from the light.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
And the voice disappeared into the brilliant light and left. However the darkness was broken and remnants of it remained. The people heeded the message. They cared for each other like they had never done before. Those who had much shared with those who had nothing. The sick were tended and the hungry were fed. The elderly gave wisdom to the youngers. The children helped with the physical needs of their elders. Neighbors ate together at their picnic tables. People talked to each other again, marveling at the sound of a human voice connected to a body. They were physically connected once more.
The world changed on that day, because the light came back into the world and with it came love which had been hidden for so long.