“For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away. We find ourselves afraid and lost. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.
I don’t want to die. And I bet I’m not alone. I mean, I really don’t want to die, not now, not yet, and certainly not from this Covid-19. I hear it over and over and over – we don’t want to die.
Of course, death is inevitable; it is part of life. But living in the midst of a global pandemic has a way of making the idea of death more immediate, more real, more likely. Our Christian faith tells us that death is not the end of things, and that promise is comforting. But death, early death, death from a dread disease, still has the power to destroy all joy and fill all our days with fear.
Here’s the thing: the promise that in the midst of the worst life has to offer, we can still find goodness and joy gives us the strength to overcome our fear. . not to ignore it, for our fears are reasonable and cause us to take good precautions. . . but to keep those fears from robbing us of peace and joy in the days we now have. What’s happening now reminds us that what’s really important in our world is love. The love we show one another, the love we show strangers, the love which transcends our fear of death, that love is what matters in the long run. . . and in the short run too.
Take a deep breath, and then take another one. Do what you must to protect yourself and your loved ones, but do not let all this steal life from your days. We are alive, now, and we can love, now.
I Corinthians 4: 16-18 (The Message translation) So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
We continue to hold Donald Hall in our prayers. Donald is at Nemasket Healthcare Center, 314 Marion Road, Middleboro MA 02346 and his cell phone number is 508-930-0051. His kidneys are failing and he is on hospice care. In this holy time, he welcomes your cards.
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