While studying the Book of Lamentations during this season of COVID-19, our congregation was invited to submit a line or two of prose expressing their thoughts, feelings and experience of this time of COVID isolation. I compiled and edited the submissions creating “St. Andrew’s COVID Lament”. I sought to be faithful to the poetic form found in the Book of Lamentations called Acrostic – meaning each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew Alphabet of which there are 22 letters. Our lament stretches to 26 letters in line with our alphabet. Thank you for your heartfelt submissions… it is a powerful lament! ~ Rev. John
St. Andrew’s COVID Lament: A Communal Creative Writing Project – May 2020
Although we are accomplishing a lot with this time of confinement, there is much we are missing.
Being with other people – remember when we used to gather in groups – but not just any people,
Children, I miss my kids, my grandkids, my parents, and my friends.
Dogs too. Let’s not forget them. And alright, we can say cats as well.
Except for some of us, our pets have our undivided attention now and are our source of companionship in this time of isolation.
Forgotten is what many of us feel. Forgotten while some are praised as heroes, but we are not. Forgotten by family and friends who are overwhelmed by many things – like on some forgotten highway being passed by many but remembered by few. And most poignantly, forgotten by you.
God. Have you forgotten us? Do you still remember us? Do you see what we are going through?
Here, is where we want you, O God. Right here with us – beside us.
I don’t feel your presence. I miss you. Do you miss me too?
Joy is so hard to find.
Keep faith, hope, and love alive. Don’t let their light be extinguished.
Lonely are the streets. Lonely are the open spaces. Lonely are the churches. Lonely are our homes.
Masked humanity enters banks and stores.
New normal – that’s what it is called. But there is nothing normal about this reality we are facing.
Overwhelm comes in waves like a tsunami at times.
PPE is our rallying cry.
Quiet fills our days and nights.
Remember us, O Lord.
Strength and courage to survive – to make it through – is what we desire most.
Thy will be done? Really. We’ve taken some dark paths as we’ve sought to understand what we are facing.
Understanding would be as sweet as honey. We wish for someone who understands us. Someone to reach out to us. Who will listen to us?
Vulnerable God, you became weak for our sakes.
Wounded by our hatred and our love for violence. You know this life. You know what abandonment feels like.
Xenophobia is on the rise. May we not place you in the same category as stranger. May we not fear you too, O God.
You carried us, O Lord. At least that’s what that poem called Footprints says: “When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.” Please let this be such a time.
Zest for life will return. We will not be isolated forever.