Category Archives: Corona virus

A Prayer for These Times

Gracious and Holy One
who spins the threads that bind us
who frees our hearts and minds to soar
who roots us in fields of questions
and forgives us when we claim
to know things that are beyond us,
hear our prayers.

Hear our prayers for healing:
heal bodies ravaged by the pandemic
heal hearts desolate with grief with comfort
heal minds embittered with hatred with love
heal souls crying out in despair with justice.

Help us to use the gifts you give us
that our scientists may be inspired
that we might comfort our neighbors
that we may sow love where hatred thrives.

Give us  the strength and fortitude
to do the work of justice
to speak and stand and march
for the freedom you desire for each one.

Grant us, Holy Friend,
the vision to draw the circle wide
to embrace those who are different
and appreciate the radical beauty
of those who are not like us.
Help us not to fear our differences
Open our hearts
that we might learn from one another
what we otherwise would not know.
Grow us, we pray, in wisdom
and compassion.

Loving Godde,
scorch us with a vision of your kin-dom
so that your hope burns in us
in these times of despair
that we may lift the light of your vision for humanity
and pierce the shadow of these days.
In all your Holy Names we pray.

I Am Curious

For some reason, I know not what, I spent some moments not reacting to the onslaught of daily and new atrocities to find a nook in my mind to entertain questions. I wish these were deep, theological pondering but they are not.

I am curious as to why a disease, experienced in nations around the world, is considered to be a hoax by some. If hoax means to trick people into believing something that is false, why on earth would someone (who?) want to trick us into believing Covid19 is real? If that is true then it must be some great international conspiracy. Have all these deaths been manufactured by the media? The refrigerator car morgues? The overcrowded hospitals and overworked medical personnel? I am deeply perplexed by the lack of anything that resembles reason. Even when I plumb the depths of my imagination I can’t answer those questions. I mean – do people really believe that this pandemic  could be manufactured and perpetrated by scientists, medical personal, and regular citizens? And  that it would be done to thwart one man? I am curious.

Which in turn makes me curious about the educated people who are perpetrating the idea that this is a hoax. Senators and governors and representatives who refuse to wear masks and insist on opening both the economy and schools in the face of dire consequences. Is power so intoxicating that they are willing and able to sacrifice the people on the altar of their hunger for it? so, why? I am curious.

I am curious about how once shared values have been scuttled. In our history, in times of crisis, we have worked together, sacrificed together, struggled against common enemies together. What happened?  I am curious.

I wonder how or if we can bridge the gap between those who are not extremists but still follow Trump and those of us who fear authoritarianism, seemingly unsolvable cultural divides.  How do we reach across to one another when the rise of racism, heterosexism, and misogyny is personally threatening?  These questions trouble me most of all and I am curious.

Is anyone truly sure that they are absolutely right? In my life I question everything, even my most deeply held beliefs. I know that it is taxing and uncomfortable so I also understand why one would be reluctant to question one’s beliefs.  I have experienced the anxiety and  urgency to hold onto a belief that is being challenged. Certainty can give us the illusion of safety. It can also stand in the way of growth and connection. Would our conversations be more productive if we respected one another’s fears?  I am curious.

But my final question and the one about which I am most curious
is not how did we get here
but rather
how do we get out of here?


Today I Remember to Wash My Hands

One of my favorite poems, “Naming of Parts”,  is about a new recruit learning about his weapon while his mind wonders to the beauty of nature around him. He keeps being brought back to the weapon of death but his heart and mind are full of life. That’s kind of how this Covid 19 crisis feels to me. Here is my rewrite  of the original. (the original follows)

 “Keeping Us Safe”
Today I remember to wash my hands. Yesterday,
we disinfected our doorknobs. And tomorrow morning,
we will remember to wear our masks. But to-day,
Today I remember to wash my hands. Azaleas.
Shyly open their petals in the garden by my front door.
And today I remember to wash my hands.

And this is my N95 mask. And this
is my hand sanitizer, whose use you will see,
When you touch things. And this is a PPE
Which in our case we have not got.  The breeze
Wafts gently through the mottled leaves
Which in our case we have not got.

This is distance, which I will always stand from you
An easy calculation. And please do not let me
See anyone coming closer than six feet. You can do it quite easily
If you have any strength of will. Birds overhead
Glide in widening arcs, never coming
closer to us than six feet.

And this you can see is me washing my hands. The purpose
Is to kill the virus so it does not spread. We scrub
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Washing our hands. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The bees flit among the early blooms scattering pollen:
We call it washing our hands.

They call it keeping us safe. It is perfectly easy
If you wash your hands and wear a mask, standing six feet apart.
These are the things that will help keep us safe: and the sun warms our skin
In the gardens of early blooms and bees flitting by,
Which in our case will keep us safe.
For today I will remember to wash my hands.


the poem that inspired it:

“Naming of Parts” by Henry Reed
Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And tomorrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
Today we have naming of parts. Japonica.
Glistens like coral in all of the neighbouring gardens,
And today we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For today we have naming of parts.


I Have Been Silent

I have been silent
but not absent.
wondering what wisdom
if any
I might share.

I have been silent
but not absent
from my fears
or my hopes
wanting to center
before sharing

I have been silent
wanting to share my anxiety
without increasing
the anxiety of others

I have been silent
even in my prayers
but not absent
from Godde

Today I offer
my care
my concern
my solidarity with those who suffer
whether from the universal crisis
of this hour
or the challenges that life brings
that would have happened
Those who are ill
whose relationships are broken
who have lost work
whose work takes them into danger
who have found new love.

I have been silent
but present.
In the quiet
I am listening
to our lives as we
move into unknown territory.

I will not be absent
to your heart
your dreams
your struggles.

This is an invitation
to reach into my silence
not for answers
but for presence.