What’s your risk factor for our social virus?  

August 18, 2020

While coronavirus is the virus we name most often these days, there is another virus, a social one, that seems to have infected and affected us individually and collectively.  It is a virus whose impact has been, not 5 months, but well over 400 years.

We all carry this virus.


Preacher and author Brian McLaren names racism as a “social and spiritual virus” and suggests that just as we test ourselves for coronavirus, we might also test ourselves for the social and spiritual virus of racism and any other hostility that is spread by prejudice and fear.

I find this to be challenging and hard work these days.  Working at my own blindness instead of seeing the “speck in my brother/sister’s eye” calls for both internal and external work and much critical self-reflection!

This is the work that Jesus calls us to do.  It’s the hard work of Neighboring Volunteers – who feel called to love a family facing homelessness while recognizing their own prejudices, fears and blindness.  The divides between us can seem wide: homeless and housed, Black and white, Mexican and Asian, employed and unemployed, rich and poor, pregnant/single and pregnant/married. Pastor Miles McPherson reminds us that, “Your out group is your neighbor.”  These are spaces ripe for misunderstanding and prejudice – and also space that is right where we can best live out the love, compassion and humility of Jesus.

I invite us into this space – neighboring right where we are, loving our homeless neighbors, our African-American neighbors, our pregnant, single neighbors, our unemployed neighbors.  It’s a space ripe for living out the call of Jesus to remove the log in our own eyes (Matthew 7:1-5).

May we all face these days of viruses with a commitment to be healers in our neighborhoods, our communities and throughout our world,

Edith Yoder
Chief Executive Officer

Click here to view entire newsletter

What’s your risk factor for our social virus?