The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
I stood over Brendan’s bed in the ITU at a north London hospital. He was on the brink of death. He was attached to 8 machines, all of which were to be turned off that night. His family had gathered to say goodbye, and I had been asked along to pray. The family expected the ‘last rites’ – I put on a confident look and prayed the words of Psalm 103:”2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases”. The following day Brendan was recovering and left hospital shortly after. It was amazing. Is it OK to pray for people with Covid-19 to be healed? Yes of course. Our psalm today says this:
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. 16 The Lord is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. 17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
The context of the psalm is the people of Israel oppressed by the violence of other nations. However, it makes clear that God sees the trouble of the afflicted, considers their grief and takes it in hand. The psalm ends with a declaration that God is king, and will do something about the problem. Jesus makes clear that everything will not be resolved this side of eternity. But God is breaking in, and it is our job to pray for this.
May God bless us all.
Much love, Matt Frost