Multiplying a Good Contagion
As the entire world is affected at this point by the COVID-19 coronavirus, we can learn something from viruses in general about multiplication. Diseases like this one grow by multiplying at an exponential rate to spread broadly. On the flip side, multiplication can also be used to spread very good things at an equally exponential rate. So I am recommending we harness the power of multiplication by spreading a good contagion during this season of “social distancing” to combat the negative spiritual and emotional effects of the pandemic.
I have been reaching out to as many people as possible right now by text, email, phone, and video conferencing. When I connect with them, I encourage those who are well to do the same by making a list of 100 people and reaching out to them during this pandemic. If only a few of us did this with 100 people and then told all of them what we’re up to, and they in turn made their own lists, we would spark an effort that could reach thousands, maybe millions, of people.
Since I have started doing this, amazing things have happened. Most are very grateful I thought of them, and some relationships that have been superficial up to this point are becoming more meaningful. Sometimes I pray with them, share Scripture, or explain my hope in Jesus with those who are short on hope. I have told many of them what I’m up to (both believers and non-believers) and encouraged them to make their own lists. Some have already begun to reach out to others and have told me it has done a lot of good.
I encourage you to pull out a piece of paper and write down the names of 100 people you know and are able to get in touch with easily. Texting seems to be the most rapid way to go about this, but feel free to use other means. Begin by praying for these folks. Each day as long as we’re in this pandemic (and beyond too) I invite you to reach out to several, ask them how they are, see if they have any needs, offer to pray, and be open to spiritual conversations even if you don’t think you know what to say—the Spirit will give you the words (Luke 12:12).
If they say they’re doing well, explain to them what you’re up to and ask them to make their own lists to begin spreading a good contagion that combats the emotional and spiritual fallout of corona. Many people—especially right now—are lonely, depressed, worried, and isolated. Some are single or shut-in and alone. Others are having a hard time being with their spouses and children so much in close quarters. Some may be tempted to resort to drugs and alcohol in order to cope. Some may contemplate taking their own lives or the lives of others. And many are asking big questions about life. God might use an ordinary person like you reaching out to completely change someone’s life, and the lives of many others.
This is what Jesus meant when he explained, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” (Matthew 13:33) Yeast, like a virus, also multiplies rapidly. While Jesus warned against multiplying the leaven of the pharisees (a bad contagion), he promoted multiplying the leaven of the kingdom (a good contagion). We have an opportunity to multiply this good contagion around the world, and it begins with the simple step of making a list.