Time to Sing

Church worship moved online.  Sports canceled. State of emergency declared.  Panicked shoppers. No toilet paper anyplace. 

What a strange and wild time we are living in.  

While waiting for the customer service at a Walmart, the worker took a phone call and I overheard her saying, “Sir, it is an epidemic. I don’t have enough staff here to do the regular jobs and I have no one I could send to see if that product is in. I’m sorry. You will have to come into the store yourself.”  Then she looked up with this tired, exasperated expression and I said, “I get it.  It’s just too much, right?”  She sighed a huge sigh and smiled.  

The “virus of paranoia” is much more severe than the Coronavirus could ever be.  It is in the air. My brother-in-law asked my sister yesterday morning, “Why am I feeling so anxious?”  Truly, there is nothing to be anxious about. The impact of the Coronavirus itself is relatively small.  

In Wuhan province where the virus started the reported death rate is under 5% (80,000 cases and 3,000 deaths). Many of those died because those who could have used it could not get medical attention. The most endangered are those already compromised by age and lung issues. But even with those issues, many, many recover without incident.  Medical professionals are telling people, if you have a fever and cough, stay home. Basically, “let it work its way through your system.” The advice is not to rush to the doctors unless you are having trouble breathing. Could this tell us something about this thing?   

 Has anyone thought of the story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” recently?  It is a great Hans Christian Anderson story. It is the story of about two weavers who promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent – while in reality, they make no clothes at all, making everyone believe the clothes are invisible to them. When the emperor parades before his subjects in his new “clothes”, no one dares to say that they do not see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as stupid. Finally, a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” And the ruse is “uncovered!”

The child tells the truth, not fearing that he will be seen as stupid. 

 I keep thinking of that story, for this Coronavirus really is not something as vicious as it is being made out to be.  No zombies. No meltdowns – like get it and you dissolve. Certainly, I am in agreement that we need to be mindful of those who could be compromised by it. But the level of panic seems not to fit the virus at all.  I keep wondering, what is really going on with this thing?  

But whatever the answer might be there, the thing is this:  God is bigger than it or any scheme behind it. God has this and God has us. 

 I loved the word by a Christian leader named Shawn Bolz who gave a word of prophecy regarding the Coronavirus which speaks to this. A prophetic word refers to someone receiving insight, direction from the Lord directly to give to others. The purpose of prophecy is to encourage, build up, strengthen or correct (1 Corinthians 14:2).   

 “The Lord showed me the end of the Coronavirus. The tide is turning now! 

God is on the side of humanity. He is answering the prayers and cries of the nations and is putting an end in sight.  The exaggerated fear based tactics of both the enemy and several media outlets for political reasons is coming to an end. The enemy has been trying to distract and steal from several equally important purposes and issues by dominating airwaves with conspiracy and fear.” 

“Within a short amount of time, the extreme threat will feel like it is in the past.  God is using prayers from around the world as a highway for healing and to bring about solutions in a mighty way.  Even now several vaccines are coming out as well as a natural dissipation of the virus itself.”  

 “The Lord is saying, ‘I am removing the threat of this. This will not be this generation’s story, that they survived the Coronavirus.  This generation has so much potential and the enemy is trying to bring the threat of death and fear. I will bring faith and health so that my full life can come forth in this day.’  Trust God’s heart. Don’t react but be proactive in your love and trust in Jesus. Declare his word over you household.”

 Trust God in this time.  Cast your cares upon the One who truly cares for you.  Do not let fear rule, but trust, trust, trust.  

 And look for the blessings that are abounding.

In our online worship time on Sunday, we shared what we have seen come from this and there was a list of many “God sightings” in the middle of this time.  Time to hang with the kids. Our grandson Theo’s preschool sent a multi-page list “What to do while in quarantine” to all the families. It is filled with brilliant and joyful ideas from science projects in the kitchen, to making a fort of pillows and blankets!  There is the gift of a slowed schedule caused by the default of many things being canceled. Time. Time supplied for phone calls with friends, to pray, to write, to be. Time given for coffee, for potty training! Some spoke of a new awareness of those who need to be protected. Another spoke of how they felt perhaps this time will rekindle “care” for others in word and deed.  

 In a poem written by an Irish priest, Brother Richard, called “Lockdown” which has gone viral, there is another invitation. I’ve decided to print his poem here.  It is beautiful: 

 

Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.

But,

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise

You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet

The sky is no longer thick with fumes

But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi

People are singing to each other

across the empty squares,

keeping their windows open

so that those who are alone

may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland

Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know

is busy spreading fliers with her number

through the neighbourhood

So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples

are preparing to welcome

and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting

All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

To how big we really are.

To how little control we really have.

To what really matters.

To Love.

So we pray and we remember that

Yes there is fear.

But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.

But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.

But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.

But there does not have to be disease of the soul

Yes there is even death.

But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic

The birds are singing again

The sky is clearing,

Spring is coming,

And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul

And though you may not be able

to touch across the empty square,

Sing

 

Sing. 

Wouldn’t it be cool if out of this time, this unusual season we rediscovered what it is like to Sabbath, to slow down, to take time for the elderly and compromised around us, to reach out, to show care, to be a people who are kind to one another?  

 It can be just that.  Keep trusting. Keep placing your faith in the One who is larger than anything with the name virus. Indeed, may the only virus that is spread from now on be that grand, unstoppable “virus” of love!  And may it spread through you and me. So, sing, friends, sing.

animal avian beak bird
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. David Luce says:

    Hi, Brian. We have been blessed to see your up-beat Email! So encouraging. All you write about seems to be around us here as well!

    I love the reference to Theo’s pre-school multi-page list Sounds innovative. And Bro. Richard’s poem is inspiring, and I love the image of the robin singing!

    Over here: over 70s are encouraged to stay indoors as much as possible, though walks are allowed. I went for a walk this afternoon, and even encountered friends unexpectedly..

    Services are suspended at Cornerstone, and I expect our Baptist Church Services will follow suit. OAPs are regarded as ‘vulnerable’. Happily , church folk can keep in touch via the telephone, or emails or whatever.

    Meetings I had anticipated attending this week have been cancelled, so my diary is certainly clearer! I have been listening to some Hymn recordings, and am getting on with some reading.

    We are trusting the Lord to bring us all through these difficult days.

    Much love and prayers.

    Pops

    Like

    1. Camino Way 2016 Shimer says:

      I love you so much! Are you over 70? Oh. Guess you are. I love you much pops! Opened my birthday card days early so it is prominently on display. I’m praying the borders open so I may still come over! Love and hugs all Around!!!

      Like

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