What To Do When a House is On Fire
Tony Cooke

May I respectfully share a perspective on the current coronavirus pandemic?

Imagine a house on fire… imagine that it’s your neighbor’s house, or perhaps even your house. That’s not a normal situation, as a matter of fact, it’s never happened on your street before—at least not that you recall. A house on fire requires drastic and out-of-the-ordinary responses.

As neighbors notice the fire, everyone’s focus becomes riveted on two things:

  • Securing the safety of those inside
  • Getting the fire put out as soon as possible

So what happens? Hopefully, somebody bangs on the door and alerts whoever is inside. Second, someone calls 911 so that emergency responders, those with special training and equipment can get to the scene, attend to any victims, and put out the fire. Hopefully, when other drivers see the fire truck coming down the road with its siren blaring, they will pull off to the side of the road, getting out of the way so they can do their job without hindrance. Also, as people emerge from the burning house, a good neighbor would comfort them and assist them in any way possible.

Here’s what is not helpful when a house is on fire:

  • Cite statistics on how many people die in different ways than in house fires.
  • Downplay the significance of the fire because it only appears to be in one small section of the house and probably won’t turn into anything significant.
  • Debate on whether to alert your neighbor, because after all, it might violate their right to privacy.
  • Theorize and speculate about how the fire might have gotten started. Who is to blame? Who knew what when? Is there something really suspicious about how this fire may have gotten started?

When a house is on fire, we focus on two things: Saving whoever we can and putting the fire out. I think that would be a good approach at this time as well.

I do appreciate other perspectives. I think it’s helpful to remember that people do die from many other causes; it is right to also be concerned about problems of flu, cancer, heart disease, etc. I echo the very legitimate concern that is expressed for the unborn. I am wary of government overreach and any abuse of power. I am aware of media distortion and wish we could trust all of our sources of information. I am glad that we are also being reminded of how many people are recovering from coronavirus.

But like it or not, this coronavirus fire is at the center of world attention right now. I believe our best course of action is to work collaboratively in the best interest of our neighbors. May we be wise, and may we really be a part of the solution in this critical situation. I pray that our witness would be positive, and that above all, we would be known for our love.