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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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