Pandemic – a reflection

What if you thought of it

as the Jews consider the Sabbath—

the most sacred of times?

Cease from travel.

Cease from buying and selling.

Give up, just for now,

on trying to make the world

different than it is.

Sing. Pray. Touch only those

to whom you commit your life.

Center down.

And when your body has become still,

reach out with your heart.

Know that we are connected

in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.

(You could hardly deny it now.)

Know that our lives

are in one another’s hands.

(Surely, that has come clear.)

Do not reach out your hands.

Reach out your heart.

Reach out your words.

Reach out all the tendrils

of compassion that move, invisibly,

where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love–

for better or for worse,

in sickness and in health,

so long as we all shall live.

 

Lynn Ungar

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2 Comments

  1. Daithi O'Muirneachain says:

    “WHETHER ONE MAY FLEE FROM A DEADLY PLAGUE”.
    “I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence.
    If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own or the death of others.
    If my neighbour needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither harse or foolhardy and does not tempt God.”
    So wrote Martin Luther in a letter.
    It is surely necessary at this time of crisis, for all, especially Christians, to come together in prayer and appropriate action.

  2. Joe O'Leary says:

    Sticking in one’s room in lockdown makes the world a bigger place. A short outing to go to the shop or for a stroll becomes a major event, and the thought of jovial assembly or travel to distant climes becomes fantastically alluring. ‘I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space.’ Perhaps we’ll be facing a lot more of that in the years ahead.

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