This article was originally published by The Mennonite World Review

May God repay the many who deserve thanks

I stand amazed at the sacrifices made on our behalf amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Front-line health-care workers are like the soldiers of other times: willing to sacrifice their well-being, maybe to the point of death, for the welfare of the vulnerable. I hope when all is over, there will be thousands of medals awarded.

Medical officers are thrust into the limelight and assigned unprecedented authority as worthy representatives of the best science we can muster. They speak of their concern for the vulnerable, and I believe them. Strategies are devised to protect us. New social norms are created.

Essential service employees are risking themselves for us. Groceries and food are still available. Pharmacists continue their patient work. Garbage is still picked up.

Businesses and corporations are losing massive amounts of investment. Entrepreneurs offer up their own vulnerabilities for the sake of the vulnerable.

And then there are the innumerable “little” things that so many are contributing: notes, video calls, emails, songs, food, services offered, walks and distractions created.

I am humbled by the multiple ways that family, friends, church, community, society and nation are pulling together.

Most of all, I’m grateful. For any who questioned the willingness of younger generations to sacrifice themselves for the common good, those questions are now answered. If there ever were questions about the capacity of younger leaders to lead in a time of unprecedented complexity, those too have been answered. I can only imagine the nightmares that await leaders with every new decision. Yet they are responding with insight, patience and creative brilliance.

Latin Americans have a saying that is simple yet profound: “May God repay you.”

Robert J. Suderman
New Hamburg, Ont.

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