Poetry with Graham

Some words of encouragement from one of our mission partners, Graham:

Years ago Linda and I served on board one of the ministry ships of our organisation. One day I was in the port office in some South American country waiting for a fax to come in for me. It was the first time I had ever received a fax from another country! I marvelled as it came in!! Wow what amazing technology! Incredible!
Now that’s way old! We have moved on big time! Last week I joined a video prayer call over zoom with 13,000 people from about 60 Nations! For well over 2 hours! Now that’s technology!
During another prayer gathering over zoom Thursday, one of the couples leading the prayer time from Asia read out a poem. It was 5 in the morning for me, but I was awake enough to be really impacted by this beautiful poem called ‘Lockdown’:
Lockdown
Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.
Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM
May we again establish the fact in our hearts that we are encompassed by the love of the Father. And He has given His Word to us that contains all His promises. Probably the Psalm that epitomises this is Psalm 91. Linda and I try to declare it ( ie speak it out loud) morning and evening as promises to us during this season. I recommend doing that as well in different Bible translations.
A prayer for us today from Pete Greig of 24/7 Prayer:
Unshakeable God, you are my ever-present help in times of trouble. Amidst all the isolation, grief and fear caused by this crisis, renew in me your peace, restore to me your perspective, and reveal to me your presence as I spend this time with you now.