How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? Psalm 137:4
We are in a COVID wilderness. Wilderness isolates, disorients. It can be a time of struggle, of waiting, of longing, of lament. And when it’s over, you are in a whole new place. Change has happened. There’s no real “going back.”
The Bible tells many “wilderness” stories: Jesus debating with Satan. Jacob wrestling an angel. Job in misery. The children of Israel wandering in the desert. Then, in their 70-year Babylonian exile, the people lamented, “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and there we wept…” And when they finally returned to Jerusalem, they began rebuilding the Temple. Yet, Ezra tells us that when they laid the cornerstone, there was both loud rejoicing and loud weeping; the difference between the shouting and the crying was indistinguishable.
And what of us, when we come out of our wilderness? At the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool, memorializing those who have died of COVID, President Joe Biden said, “To heal, we must remember. It’s hard, sometimes to remember”. There will be joy, and there will be weeping. There, too, will be healing. We’ll put one foot in front of another to walk the way of peace.
Prayer: Though we walk in the midst of trouble, preserve us, LORD; your steadfast love endures forever. Amen
Deaconess Diane Marten, McCordsville, IN