A poem to honor those who have died from the Corona virus and a prayer for strength

To rise again tomorrow

I blocked my ears, so as not to hear the bells toll on and on

And covered my eyes so as not to see

The long, long procession

of army jeeps and freezer trucks

Carrying precious cargo

No graveside prayers, no “dust to dust”

As contagion cancelled all tradition

No floral bouquets, no wreaths of green

Or hymns sang loud and clearly

No eulogy, no words at all

Save those whispered in anguished voice imprisoned

By grieving souls in isolation

So, bless these bodies, God, we pray

And bring us consolation

For loved ones gone

For those left behind

Who grieve without help or closure

It’s been one hundred years or more

Since our world’s seen such calamity

Or felt so deeply forsaken

We need you now, more than ever, Lord

Please hasten to our aid

Please dry these bitter tears

And If I may prevail, dear God,

Protect us from all fears

Renew our weakened faith,

And lend to us your powerful strength

To rise again tomorrow

All Nations Pray

Nations in mourning

Cry out to you, Divine One

Deep sadness rolls across our lands

Like a creeping fog

We are lost in its mists

Adrift, lost, and alone

Are you still here, Divine One?

Do you hear us call?

Body bags are mounting

Grim reapers at our doors

The death ship sails on and on

Please send your helpers now.

Strengthen our healers

As they work from dawn to dusk

Fighting back an enemy

Without a soul or face

Hear us please, Divine One

Help us in our need

Send despair packing

Let hope arise again

For we feel lost, forsaken

And desperation pervades our being

We need your mercy now

Fill us with your gift of faith

And let wisdom be our guide

Come to us, Oh Holy One

And let your love preside

In every heart, in every mind

Until this fog subsides

Tests of Faith

“My reason nourishes my faith and my faith my reason.” – Norman Cousins

If you read my blog at all you will know that I do have faith in a higher power, no matter what name we choose to call him or her. Recently I posted a meme on Facebook about prayer and a relation questioned it commenting that God is allowing so many people to die. Fair point, I guess. It does make us question, and for some, doubt whatever faith they may have had prior to the emergence of the great turmoil, fear, upheaval, illness and death caused by this corona virus. For myself, personally, I will cling to the Creator because I do believe in a loving and merciful God. Why? Because time and time again we have received all we needed, even when things seemed absolutely hopeless, even when darkness threatened, even when others shook their heads and said “there’s no way”. A way was always given, doors always opened that we thought were closed and triple locked.

I will not pretend to know the answers. I absolutely have none at all. Here, in these darkest of times, my faith is being tested yet again. All I know is that all is mystery, and sometimes it’s very hard to sit with the unknowns, with all the questions, when we so badly want answers; when we so badly want life to go back to the way it was. But what if this crisis allows us to reexamine our hitherto assumptions about life? That cannot be a bad thing, can it?  If we can but learn whatever lessons that lay enfolded within this present crisis, we may emerge better people living in a better world. That is my hope. That is my prayer.

“Faith is different from proof, the latter is human, the former is a Gift from God.” – Blaise Pascal

I will cling to You

Divine One

I will cling to you

As wild winds blow,

As my small craft goes over waterfalls

That threaten to drown me in fears and anxiety

Lift me now, lift us all

Out of the pit we have stumbled into

Grant us faith so we do not stumble or fall

Grant us the gift of hope

When all is grim and seemingly hopeless

For I know there is always hope

And blessed respite

When I cling to You

Boxing Day 2019

Aw, the day after Christmas day, the very large bins behind our apartment building are overflowing, a sad commentary on our excesses as a society. Yet, the ravens are crazily happy tearing open the garbage bags to retrieve their own feast. Perhaps this is a day that scavengers celebrate. The little dog that lives in the house behind us is also in his glee, barking furiously and racing back and forth and seeming to thoroughly enjoy his game of chasing ravens. The ravens ignore him and continue with their business of dumpster diving.  Squawking rends the air as the little dog takes part in the cacophony of discordant sound.

photo by Anastacia Hopkins

As for me and mine, we are draped limply in chairs and on couches in an attempt to recover from the bustle and rush of Christmas preparations. The day is done, but I hope the season of giving continues, not the presents, but the presence. The gifts that come from the heart: the lovingly prepared meals and snacks; the comfort of loving embraces; the gift of company for the lonely; shelter, clothing, warmth, and cheer that does not come in a box but wrapped in sincere concern for one another. May that concern never be boxed in or thrown into a garbage bin. May the ribbons that festoon our daily lives be ribbons bright with love and humanity. May they be ribbons that do not chaff or constrain, but drift warmly around our very souls. May our hearts be worn bravely on our sleeves as we continue through the days and weeks and months ahead. Amen!