Pandemic – a meditation for challenging times

A pandemic meditation

The pandemic caused by COVID-19 threw our lives as we knew them into sudden chaos. Like most people, I’m confused. I don’t know what will come next, or what my responses should or will be.

You can find another blog about COVID-19 here.

Pandemic responses

In the middle of a pandemic, many people panic. Their behaviour can become irrational. Some no longer shop the way they used to. Leaders contradict each other.

But there are also miracles of kindness, of warmth and love. Families urge older people to stay home to protect themselves. They offer, and provide, practical and emotional support and encouragement.

Strangers offer to shop for those who have isolated themselves. People who do not know each other connect on social media. Miracles happen

A pandemic meditation

If you are looking for something uplifting, read on. Indeed, if you are tired of singing ‘Happy Birthday’ every time you wash your hands, this may be just the thing.

I’ve stuck a copy to the mirror in my bathroom, hoping not only to pass twenty seconds many times a day, but also in the hope I’ll learn the poem. It seems my ability to learn poetry is not what it once was.

This beautiful meditation on the pandemic, sent to me by my daughter, Jenny was written by poet Lynn Ungar, a church minister who lives in the USA.

Pandemic

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.
Centre 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.

Until next time

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, for twenty seconds each time
  • Keep your distance from others
  • Stay home if you can
  • Be safe and well.

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