Not long after the Coronavirus pandemic started we began seeing almost an immediate, global new email vocabulary. I never saw a memo on it; maybe it was subliminally communicated somehow. It was just something that almost everyone started including as their complimentary email close- “Stay Safe.” Some people might change it up by adding a “Stay Healthy” or “Be Well.”
I think the purpose behind the change was that, even in the business environment, no one wanted to appear heartless to the fear or uncertainty that the recipient of that email might be facing. In my line of work where email is the primary form of communication, we don’t ever know what may be happening in the area of the world the other person might be. Or if that person has the virus, or has a loved one with the virus, or is having to shut down their business because an employee has the virus.
Tacking on those two words at the end of an email request seems at least a little more “human” than pre-pandemic forms of closing. Maybe they are some sort of subconscious recognition that all of us are in danger, and many are grieving. Wishing someone to Stay Safe is one simple way of standing together in our vulnerability.
The thing is, one day, everything was business as usual. The next, an unknown danger was lurking outside our doors. Staying at home was equated with avoiding that danger. Our vocabulary increased to include new terms like “social distance,” “self-isolate,” “self-quarantine,” “lockdown,” and “shelter-in-place.” All are just more virtuous ways of saying “stay at home.”
So we tell each other to stay safe. Yes, we hope our friends, family and acquaintances stay safe from the virus, and we grieve with those who have lost loved ones because of it. But I have to say that there are many more dangerous things in our world from which we should be encouraging one another to stay safe.
Thinking about this, I am reminded of the last plague God exacted on Egypt- the death of all the first-born. God gave the Israelites specific instructions on how to “stay safe” when He came to strike the land of Egypt. His children were to choose an unblemished lamb or goat; they were to kill that unblemished lamb, and put some of its blood on the lintels of their homes. When God came through Egypt, when He saw the blood, He would pass over His people so that this plague of death wouldn’t harm the Israelites who obeyed His instruction.
There is great wickedness and evil in this Egypt of the world that we are living in. Hatred and persecution is widespread, unrighteousness is abounding, and the love of many is growing cold. Death itself is marching through our world disguised as entertainment, or feel-good religion, or social charity programs. All of these things are trying to disguise themselves as “good” and “safe,” but their danger is magnified by their deceptive appearance.
And still God is looking for the blood of the spotless, righteous Lamb. The only way to truly be safe for all eternity is to allow God to apply the righteousness of Jesus, through the sacrifice of His shed blood on Calvary, to our lives. This is the only redemption for all of mankind. He Himself has provided that unblemished Lamb when He sent Jesus to Earth. Jesus conquered sin on the cross, He conquered death when He rose three days later. He has provided all that we need to be safe for all eternity.
God is preparing to return, to put an end to all wickedness and evil, to put an end to our enemy Satan for all eternity. And though we read in His Word of the destruction that will come, we also have His promise that God is mighty to save (Isaiah 63:1) and that He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to Him through Christ (Hebrews 7:25).
When we accept by faith the work of Jesus, when we confess that He alone can save us and has indeed done the work to save us, then our names are written in His book and we no longer have anything to fear. We can be assured that we are safe for all eternity.
But there is more than just safety involved here. We believers will be caught up into Heaven with our Savior for eternity. Our treasures are there. Our loved ones are there. Our God, our Creator, the One we have been longing to see- He is there, too. We will be eternally in a place of beauty and peace that is unimaginable on this earth- a place where fear and suffering will be banished.
So when you get a message from someone, wishing you to “Be Safe,” remember all that means for God’s people.