A recent report listed Rhode Island as the state with the most cases of COVID-19 per capita in the United States. This startling revelation admittedly evokes confusion. How could a state that fared better than most now rank so low? While many causal factors presumably contribute to this unfortunate statistic — especially the fact that Rhode Island, the smallest state in the union, is also one of the most densely populated — part of the problem is that the transmission of a highly infectious virus is partly beyond our control.
While physical distancing, hand sanitization, and the use of masks are essential in preventing the spread of the disease — and thankfully the general public has adopted these reasonable measures — these preventative measures do not cumulatively entail any kind of panacea. Promises of widespread vaccine distribution do alleviate concerns and provide much-needed hope. But for people of faith, we don’t have to wait for a vaccine to finally find consolation.
As Christians, we are already a people of hope. We recognize that our earthly existence, while inviolable in its dignity, is temporary. We are made for Heaven, not earth. As much as we wish to control the evils which threaten us, we must recognize our collective inability to always so do by ourselves. But in the face of suffering or tribulation, Christians do not fear. They place their hope in the Savior who took suffering, and pain, and death upon his shoulders, and redeemed it. Reports which place us at the bottom of the barrel will inevitably provoke anxiety. But they don’t need to instill fear for those who believe in the saving power of God.