COVID CHRONICLES Day 8

Readings and Prayers for a Day of Rest

The idea of Shabbat or Sabbath — a day of rest — is as old as Creation, if you believe the Bible. And if you don’t, everyone I know who takes one day off a week from social media, commerce, work, etc. reports it to be rewarding. Including me! So, I am pre-posting today’s diary. It contains readings and prayers I will be reading or chanting. I hope you find some meaning here. I’ll be back to the regular diary on Sunday.

This first reading, by Methodist Pastor Steve Garnaas-Holmes, is relevant to the Jewish concept of Yotzer Or — G0d as creative force of both dark and light, good and evil. These polarities can be embraced as a reflection of divinity inside each of us, in all humanity, and in all creation.

There is one atmosphere on this planet,
one air that we all breathe.
It is in me and you and our neighbor and the stranger,
in the saint and the terrorist.
It is the whoosh of the whale’s breath
and the little puffs of cloud of the song of the wolf.
It is the breath of G0d.

You may take it into yourself,
but it is part of the One Breath we all share.
There is one life in us all.
In the one Spirit we are all fingers of the same hand.
The love that gives us life is the love that joins us to each other.
There is no other life.
There is no other wholeness.

When you love your neighbor, when you love your enemy,
you return to your own, you enter your wholeness.
There is only One Breath.
Return to it and be made whole again.

This one reminds us to keep our perspective, especially those of us who are privileged.

Prayer for a Pandemic by Cameron Wiggins Belm, of Washington
May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips remember those that have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.

Amen.

This one has special resonance for us.

Prayer For Those Who Help by Susan Feldman
May the One who blessed and led our forbearers give countenance unto those who provided help for the ill and troubled among us.
May they be filled with fortitude and courage, endowed with sympathy and compassion, as they give strength to those at their side.
May they fight against despair and continue to find within themselves the will to reach out to those in need.
And in their love of others, may they feel the blessing of community and the blessing of renewed faith.

Finally, this reading from the “Diary of Anne Frank” is one of my favorites.

It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out.
Yet I keep them, because, in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.
I simply can’t build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery, and death.
I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness,
I hear the approaching thunder, I can feel the suffering of millions,
and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come out right one of these days;
that this cruelty will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.

In the meantime, I must hold on to my ideals, for perhaps the day will come when I shall be able to carry them out.

Shabbat Shalom. May you have a day of peace in the chaos.

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Wynn Hausser

Professional Communicator, Change Agent & Nonprofit Specialist. “COVID CHRONICLES” documents life under pandemic. Also write on sports, politics and life.