BEYOND GRIEF AND DEATH

The world map is marked with Covid cases

numbers try to express the endless sorrow and grief.

Daily updates speak of makeshift morgues and field hospitals

split ventilators and homemade protective shields.

Standing six feet apart at the post office

to send Easter baskets to the grandkids I can’t visit

there is an eerie silence behind bandannas and masks

fear of a deadly disease one person away.

In the early morning darkness, sleep often vanishes

and all the worries and doubts come flooding in.

Like Mary we weep outside the tomb of all our losses

the loss of loved ones, the loss of jobs

the loss of touch with family and friends

the loss of security and control.

But, like Mary, we lean into the tomb and look closely.

There amidst the emptiness we see angels.

Daily miracles of courage and compassion:

gowned and masked heroes work beyond fear and exhaustion

in hospitals and nursing homes and test centers.

Daily testimony to the human heart:

faithful grocery baggers and mail carriers and truckers

show up on the front lines of our essential services.

Daily bread multiplied by those who pack

breakfasts and lunches for kids

and serve those still seeking shelter to shelter in place.

Daily signs of connection and community:

teddy bears and butterflies in windows

hearts multiplied by small hands learning to care.

And when we listen closely we hear the holy one

speaking our name with comfort and challenge:

You are loved beyond grief, even beyond death.

You are called to be light, bright shining light in the darkness.