John O’Donahue writes:
It is a hopeful sentiment in these difficult times…but I wonder about the fresh pastures of promise. For decades economies in the West have stretched to the limit the disparity between the rich and everyone else. We have known for a while now – most of my adult life – that how we live is not sustainable. Will this be a time of true change? Will we finally wake up to the essential services we need to survive and let go our obsession with bright shiny objects? Time will tell.
This is a time for you to lie low to the wall and not only wait until the bitter weather passes, but consider what you will do to buttress your household against future storms. It is a time for all of us to realize that no one is an island and we need each other to survive. Just last night my brother and I were talking (by email) about who in our family is most vulnerable, how we can pool our resources to help each other.
And as we do that, lying low to the wall, let us remember who is standing in front of the wall bearing the onslaught of the wind. I remember a scene in the HBO series Chernobyl. The man tasked with containing the deadly radiation seeping out of the reactor gathers up coal workers to tunnel under the reactor to keep it from poisoning the water from Kiev to the Black Sea. (a link to this video clip is below) Those coal workers voluntarily did the work, knowing they would probably die. We are asking our doctors, nurses, health care workers, midwives, hospital cleaners, paramedics, people who make hospital equipment, to show up for work, knowing they might get sick, could infect their families or could die. This is a lot to ask.
Please pray with me:
God, who created life, and gave us freedom to do with it what we will, forgive us our selfishness born out of fear. Forgive us the ways we have forgotten the least and most vulnerable among us. Forgive us our expectation that our needs are more important. Surround all those who place themselves in danger for the greater good with our love and care and gratitude. Sooth our fear, God, and glimpse for us a future where greater equity exists, and we have learned to live with respect in Creation. We pray in the name of the One who died and gave us hope in new life. Amen.
Here is the Chernobyl clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc5oLrKx5Qs