Social Distancing and Sabbath


What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love--
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

Sabbath is one of God's best gifts to us, a weekly reminder that we are not God. It became my habit this year to take a social media Sabbath every Sunday. And I will again tomorrow, trusting and giving thanks for doctors and nurses who will be working and that electricity and water will be on, remembering people around the world who are suffering, but knowing my tweets and posts will not change that.

Resting my troubled spirit will renew me to begin again on Monday. Instead on Sunday I will embrace the sky. I will play. I will probably do a bit of work on my taxes, just a bit.

And because I am a person of faith, I will go to church online. (You're invited, too, if you are so inclined. That link will take you to the National Cathedral, live, March 15, 11 AM EDT.) I will listen to a preacher whom I know will provide a balm in Gilead. And I will pray for all of you.

Tonight, this is the prayer I will pray:

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

You don't have to believe. If you don't, take it as my sending you good vibes or however you want to frame it. Whatever we believe, we are all in this together.

My friends -- Peace.
Two candles by Labtron, used under the Creative Commons license
Earth photo by NASA, in the public domain

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