I was watching Three Men and a Baby, the story of three bachelor roommates who live a lavish party lifestyle and have lots of girlfriends. One day they discover a baby on their doorstep left there by one of the girlfriends who found herself “in a delicate condition” after a fling with one of the men.
It was fun sinking into the story in such dire times. I found myself missing the 1980s, when I was young and naive. I used to have the same big hair and the big shoulder pads and the same ambitions; nice job; nice house, nice car; The Cold War was behind us. September 11 and its endless fallout was two decades away.
And then I remembered the year the movie was made – 1987 – the Aids epidemic was a full blown crisis that shook the world. It took more than five years to really come to our attention. And it wasn’t until 1987 that the world really took a turn on the crisis. In February 1987, the WHO launched The Global Program on AIDS to raise awareness; generate evidence-based policies; provide technical and financial support to countries; conduct research; promote participation by NGOs; and promote the rights of people living with HIV.
The movie Three Men and a Baby seemed to fly in the face of the Aids epidemic, glorifying the party lifestyle, multiple partners and personal freedom. But as the movie progresses, you realize that it’s more than a funny story about ill-equipped men trying to figure out how to care for a baby girl (with more than enough poopy diaper scenes and missteps). It’s about three men growing up. It’s about society growing up. The movie is a statement on the reality society was facing.
We haven’t had five years to get used to the epidemic we are facing. It’s been five months.
What we’re facing is tough. It’s going to get tougher. But look at who has been lifted up: grocery cashiers and truck drivers, convenience store owners; the very least of us in the eyes of big business are on the front lines. Nurses and doctors and health care professionals, the people who clean hospital suites and stand at the door assessing everyone who comes through. They are putting their lives on the line.
The people we used to honour – sports superheros and movie stars – are binge watching Netflix. Billionaires are watching their hoarded money melt away.
We are growing up as a society. It’s hard. But its beautiful.
We may feel like we have very little reason to love God in the midst of this crisis. We may even be angry that God just doesn’t snap his fingers and make it all go away. But without birth pangs, there is no baby, no new life to wrench us into a new reality. New life is already springing up around us. God invites us to be co-creators of that new reality.
Have faith. Love God even if there seems no reason to. It’s a good exercise in opening your heart so good healthy light can get it.