An introduction to this “In Isolation” blog series appears at the top of the March 22 post.
Hearts in windows and taped to doors were far more visible today as we walked down the centre of our neighbourhood streets. No cars, so why not? To say nothing of how utterly rebellious or adolescent it felt. Instead of looking straight ahead at 50 kmh (Ok… 60), the speed of our walk permitted us to look left and right, marvelling at how many hands — tiny, large, young, old had all clearly been a part of heart-making and sticking to windows. Plain hearts, fancy hearts, delicately cut hearts, wrinkled and crinkled hearts, broken hearts… of course none of them looked like real hearts. And yet, we knew that behind each one of them was a real heart, doing what the soul of its holder can: sharing solidarity and hope.
When all this is behind us, I just don’t think things will be the same. That may be a pretty wonderful thing. Kind of like the way that story I alluded to yesterday ended.
David Moddle sings the first and last verses of “O God, to You I Cry in Pain” as a sample of the song. The words were written by Shirley Murray in 2005 when she was dealing with multiple health issues which seemed, as she said, to relish the idea of all being together with her as host even though they had not been invited to the party.
To all who are ill.
To all who are afraid.
To all who know and love the ill and afraid.
To all who give assurance.
To support workers who clean up
the debris of illness and pain.
To administrators who no longer
see charts without seeing faces.
To every dedicated caregiver.
To nurses who are afraid.
To every front line physician
who does not want to play God.
O God, to you I cry in pain
when sickness makes me weak,
when mind and body out of tune
bring fears I cannot speak.
Give me the strength to face my ill,
to trust in skill and care,
to bless the hands that help me heal
and find your spirit there.
Remind me I am not alone
when suffering makes its mark;
be present at my pillow’s side
and help me through the dark.
Within the comfort and the love
that human touch can give,
restore in me a larger sense
of what it is to live.
Allow my mind to rest in you,
and let your peace pervade
to hold me in your greater power
and not to be afraid.
Words by Shirley Erena Murray
Copyright © 2005 by Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, Illinois • USA