I wept. Commiserative grief, survivor’s guilt, and all-consuming powerlessness pushed at my soul after listening to the news about all the plants full of COVID infected but non-systematic mothers and fathers. This drowning sadness triggered in me historical vignettes of the marginalized WWII prisoners dejectedly lining up to enter what they thought was a work camp, but for the old, feeble, or the very young was a death march into the incinerators.
I mindlessly watched the news predictably numb to the existential death count from this virus. The pictures of workers lining up to get their temperatures checked before walking into their work stations unplugged something in me.
The contagion has not knocked on my door. I don’t know personally anyone who has been infected. I’ve glibly stayed active in my personal quarantine stay-at-home bubble, kind of praying every now and then for these hard-hit families, but actually removed from the horrific reality.
This night was different. I was angrily jolted by the indifferent treatment of those under our communal care who do the jobs that no one else wants to do and who keep our collective selves fed and clothed. What do I do with this paralyzing grief?
I think of the paralytic man in the New Testament. He was lowered through the roof by his desperate friends who needed Jesus to heal their charge. The anxious crowds that surrounded Jesus were blocking access to him. Currently, for me, all the noisy, clanging-like-a-cymbal cacophony of political noise is blocking my view of our present harsh reality. These deaths are not numbers. They’re our grannies, brothers, moms, grandpas, uncles, dads, and sisters.
Wake up and cry, everybody!
I need someone to lower me down into Jesus’ care. I need for the world to lower our defenceless neighbors into his gentle touch, not march them into their impending death!
When fear paralyzes my core, Jesus says that his perfect love casts out all fear. When sadness is the essence of every breath I take, I’m promised that tears do come at nightfall, but joy comes in the morning. He will wait with us for the morning. Please morning, hasten your coming!
What do we do with the scope of pain that’s beyond our control??
Some men appeared carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They tried to bring him in and set him down in front of Jesus, but finding no way to do so because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiling, bed and all, into the middle of the company in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, Man, your sins are forgiven you.’