An Oath of Solitude

They are not intelligent enough to correctly spell the name of their own state/commonwealth on their protest signs. How can they possibly believe they know better than the experts: scientists, immunologists, researchers, nurses, and doctors?

Arrogant protestors who are not following shelter in place orders, not social distancing, not wearing masks not understanding that this really is about life and death.  Yes, the economy is in jeopardy, but so are the lives of lower income workers whose jobs are seen as essential, so are seniors in nursing homes, especially those whose health is already compromised. The rate of infection for people of color is nearly six times that of whites. Do those things not matter?  Is money more important than human life? Are some lives of more value than others? Some of the protestors seem to think so.  

Scripture is clear, in Psalm 8:4-5 we read: What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you  care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the angels and crowned him with glory and honor. In Matthew Jesus reminds us that we are more valuable than the birds of the air, and in John we find one of the most beloved of all verses: For God so loved the word that he gave his only Son. 

The current restrictions and closures are inconvenient and are not very enjoyable for most of us, but is it really asking too much of us if it means we are saving lives? Someone suggested that we might do well to frame it in a more positive light. Don’t say “I can’t go out because of the virus,” that sounds like you are whining. Instead say: “I’ve sworn an oath of solitude until the pestilence is purged from our land.” That sounds heroic and far more upbeat.  Please, understand, to venture out too soon will only contribute to a surge in the number of cases. Let’s be patient a little longer. 

Perhaps some could use this extra time at home to work on spelling. Ok, that was snarky, but why not try a new hobby, learn a new language, take up an instrument, or read a book about something or someone you are interested in? Save the protests for something that will help, not hinder. 

A Prayer for Our Uncertain Times by Fr. Michael Graham, S.J.

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 and 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 who have no safe 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. As fear grips our country, let us choose love. And during this time when we may not be able to physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.  Amen.

I am truly looking forward to seeing you all in person in the near future. 

Until then, stay safe. 

The Rev. Ellen Meissgeier