Rainn Wilson is connecting with friends both old and new during the coronavirus pandemic.
The actor recently launched a daily Instagram Live series, “Hey There, Human,” in which he has conversations with celebrities and viewers that aim to be both uplifting and entertaining. The series, which streams weekdays at 3 p.m. ET on the SoulPancake Instagram channel, has featured Wilson’s former “Office” co-stars Jenna Fischer, Angela Kinsey, Oscar Nunez and Ed Helms, plus Allison Janney, Justin Baldoni, Penn Badgley and more.
Wilson, a Baha’i, has also been connecting with his faith community “more than ever” while quarantined in the greater Los Angeles area with his wife, Holiday Reinhorn, and his teenage son, Walter. He opened up to TODAY in an email interview about the role his faith has played in his life during the pandemic.
How faith has helped him face the challenges of the pandemic:
“The founder of the Baha’i Faith, Bahá’u’lláh, says that tests are sent by God as a ‘healing medicine.’ So this gives me comfort. Part of life is suffering and much of life is about how we transform that suffering into wisdom. Prayer, meditation and gratitude are powerful, vital tools that spirituality has to offer to one dealing with the sometimes daunting issues of this crisis.”
How he stays connected with his faith:
“I’ve been connecting with my faith community more than ever! My little Baha’i community in Agoura Hills, California, meets online. I’ve done a number of virtual devotional gatherings and I’ve done introductory talks on the Baha’i Faith for the Wilmette Institute and Bahai.Chat.”
How he’s currently observing Ridvan, which he describes as the ‘most holy of all Baha’i holidays’:
“It’s 12 days long and there are a number of online celebrations featuring talks and prayers and music and art performances. Los Angeles is hosting a big one! Baha’is and people of all different faith traditions are finding fun, unique ways to gather and worship virtually.”
How faith has guided his interactions with his family during the pandemic:
“Besides the obvious, spending more time together, eating together and dog walking together, we have also been able to pray and meditate together. We’ve also been able to read aloud from this gigantic book of early Baha’i history called ‘The Dawn-Breakers,’ which has been a fun way to spend time away from all the screens that take over our lives.”
A quote that provides him with comfort and hope:
“Calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy. Hasten thereunto that thou mayest become an eternal light and an immortal spirit.” (Bahá’u’lláh)
What he would say to those who might be struggling to find hope at this time:
“There are a number of positives during this incredibly difficult time. People are reaching out and connecting more than ever. And, like climate change, we’re seeing the tragedy of this pandemic as a global problem. This is uniting humanity in many ways during this chaos. Baha’is are all about creating love and unity and underneath this tragedy is the silver lining that we are all in this together, us humans, sharing our beautiful planet and we need to reach out and help and serve each other more than ever.”