Water and the Word: Pandemic Lament

How lonely sits the city

    that once was full of people!

How like a widow she has become,

    she that was great among the nations!

She that was a princess among the provinces

    has become a vassal. 

(Lamentations 1:1)


Surely, you feel our tachycardia, 

O God, and the pounding of our veins 

as our systolic/diastolic fraction 

climbs the rickety scaffolding 

of coronavirus, untethered, 

leaving us feeling divided

into smaller and smaller fragments,

isolated into puddles of loneliness. 


We catalog our losses, 

measuring by the standards 

of what we knew before, 

lamenting the past 

and its known predictability:

the ways we so easily gathered; 

the proximity, the fellowship, 

the singing; 

the ways we moved 

around the planet, 

making new friends 

and sharing mission’s meal together, 

with such ease. 


Dust to dust — 

or maybe germ to germ — 

we trust you’ll hold 

our pain in your strong 

but tender palm. 


And one day — sooner, 

rather than later, please — 

show us the rising sun 

of a new normal 

in which we have learned 

to pay attention 

to the plight of all our neighbors, 

near and far, 

willingly ceding 

our sequestered abundance 

to their need, 

leveling the sacred field 

of your sufficiency. 


© 2020 Todd Jenkins



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