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這幾個月的動盪與不安，讓我想起 2003 年香港所經歷的「沙士」疫症，在四個多月裡，共 1,755 人染病，299 人死亡。當時人心惶惶，為避免感染，不敢外出，以致百業蕭條，經濟急速下滑。但在這段艱難的日子，香港人卻突然間體會親情可貴。家人工餘多了留在家中，彼此相處溝通；面對共同的危機，人們更多互相守望保護，一般家人關係有所改善。由於經濟瀕臨崩潰，負資產人士增加，所以基督徒多了與非信徒表達一種新體會：人真的不可倚靠無定的錢財！再加上沙士期間委身照顧病人的醫護人員不少是基督徒，他們捨己付出的見證，給香港人帶來正面的力量，堅固了許多人的心，叫人勇敢面對艱難，逐步走出陰霾，使香港後來也得以重建。
Reminiscent of SARS
Rev Gordon Siu
The turbulence and unrest in recent months have brought back to my mind the outbreak of SARS in Hong Kong in 2003. In more than four months, a total of 1,755 people were infected, and 299 of them died. People were worried. They stayed indoors to prevent infection. Businesses were hard hit and the economy took a sharp downturn. But just at that critical moment, Hong Kong people realized the importance of family ties. They spent more time with their families and talked to their loved ones. In the face of a widespread crisis, they helped out and protected one another. Family ties were strengthened. As the economy edged toward collapse, the number of people with negative equity grew, and Christians had new insights to share with non-believers – money is unreliable! A lot of the medical staff dedicated to serving the sick during SARS were Christians. Their good testimony of self-sacrifice brought strength to Hong Kong and comfort to many people who continued to fight the hardship and rebuild Hong Kong.
Likewise today, we face great hardship. Likewise, we have to ask: what can we do to help everybody grow in the aftermath of what happened and grasp the meaning of a good life?
1. In the midst of widespread broken relationships, we begin to see the frailty of ties among friends, family, brothers and sisters. Some brothers and sisters who hold different views become strangers to each other. May we humble ourselves and seek the Lord in self-reflection: May we cherish our relationships with our family and brothers and sisters more. May we live out the values of listening, respect and harmony in diversity.
2. Scenes of troubles, conflicts and unrest are depressing and tend to give us insomnia. In self-reflection, let us humble ourselves and seek the Lord: Lord, You said we will have trouble in this world, but we can "take heart" because You "have overcome the world." You left "Your peace" with us. May we again learn to "take heart" in the Lord and frankly and patiently face the difficulties, knowing that at times our limitations require that we put things aside and turn our thoughts to some other good and happy things. Above all, let us remember that You reign.
3. We may have been angry when people point a finger at us. But this helps us really understand what it is to feel bad. In self-reflection, may we humble ourselves and seek the Lord: Lord, we really need love and tolerance. Help us to blame less and love more. In times like these, let us think more about the Christian medical staff during SARS. Let us care more and speak more words of comfort to family and friends.
4. We may be worried about our children. What does the future hold for them? We would consider a range of solutions. In self-reflection, let us humble ourselves and seek the Lord: Lord, this You have promised, "…from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children" (Psalm 103:17). Lord, keep my fear of You and let it turn into a spiritual legacy for my children. Lord, we are duty bound to pray for peace and seek justice for this city, and leave behind a good example for our children.