A Response to Covid 19
Today, we think twice before leaving our homes to walk among strangers. Public health authorities have warned us. Stay home. That is safest. If you must go out among people, wear a mask. That’s the law in Ontario. Otherwise, outside. Gather on patios, but keep your social distance. Big crowds are not supposed to happen.
Here in Peterborough, most of us are doing just that. We are trying to follow the rules, even though wearing a mask, especially in the heat, is most uncomfortable. As people of faith, we know we can pray for the health of the world, and most of us do that, too.
Yesterday, my morning reading reminded me of this well-known scripture blessing:
“May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious unto you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you
and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26 NIV).
For me the value of reading scripture lies in applying it to my life. “Close your eyes and feel the warmth of God’s face shining upon you like sunlight,” writes Kathleen Long Bostrom in her book, Finding Calm in the Midst of Chaos. So I did just that. The sun shone in my window. I imagined its warmth coming from Jesus’ loving face. For a few moments, peace settled on my soul.
Bostrom didn’t stop there. Her second challenge was, “The next time you are out, imagine God’s face shining softly upon the people around you.” It seems ironic that during Covid 19 that those not included in my “bubble” are a danger to me, “enemies.” We are wear masks to protect ourselves from them, and them from us. Let’s try focusing on offering others a blessing rather than feeling threatened.
This week, as we stand in the line-ups, try using your waiting time to silently speak this familiar blessing from your heart. Bless the people around you, one at a time.
For sure, these prayers for God’s Peace and Grace will bring God’s light into the darkness of this world. They can also give you peace.