Tuesday, March 24, 2020

A Tear In My Denial

I have spent most of my life
in a soft and pleasant denial 
Believing that I was
for the most part 
in charge of my own destiny. 
Sure
I would die one day 
but that day was a long way off
and I could keep it at arms length 
by eating right
not driving drunk
exercising 
and saying my prayers. 
Oh there were times
when painful rips occurred 
in that denial. 
A painful, brutal divorce 
the temporary loss
of the profession I loved
restored, thank God
like the years eaten by locusts.
The death of my parents. 
But always 
A new start.
New love, restored profession
and end to grief, 
though the loss lingers on.
But this virus 
has torn a long gash in my denial, 
jagged and deep.
I may never totally feel safe again.
And that makes me afraid 
and angry.
I realize that in many ways 
this helplessness I feel
is no different than that
of much of  the world's marginalized 
Growing empathy is a good thing. 
But this...
a sense that at any time
like a character in a horror movie 
about posession 
where the demon can 
jump from person to person,
Unseen
This terrifies me.
That this evil thing
might catch a ride on my shoulder 
unknown 
Despite my best care taken
to jump from me to a loved one
upon my return home.
Or might chose
to take my life 
because our testing waits
til the demonic has already 
taken root,
And I might wind up in a hospital 
where scarcity 
makes medical personnel 
Choose between young and old
and I, of course, am old.
My only comfort,
Strange as it sounds, 
is that the Hebrews knew
this same fear
Etched into their lives 
by occupation and plague 
and bitter struggle. 
And so I read
and claim for myself 
The promises made 
to this traumatized people.
Job's cry that 
he has asked questions 
too great for him 
may be true, 
but I will ask them anyway ,
and like him, repent
in dust and sanitizer. 
Then scream into the darkness 
Though He slay me
Yet will I trust Him

1 comment:

Maren said...

O my god, Stephen this is all of our prayer!!