One of the persistent challenges of my life, one which I have been keenly reminded of over the past few weeks of Covid-19 shelter-at-home realities, is the hard work of simply “being with” people. No one who knows me well would accuse me of being a hyper-productive individual, but still I have always found it more comfortable doing things for people, rather than simply being with them.
My recent rhythm of home-officing and home-schooling and, it feels at times, home-everything with a 7-year old, 5-year old, and 1-year old, has confronted me anew with with my impatience, my anxiety, and my capacity to spread those same two things to whomever is in the vicinity. Day-in and day-out it has all been so exposing, humbling, and at times humiliating, character-wise.
So it was timely when, somewhere on social media yesterday, I bumped into this very honest and inviting prayer… a Luke 18:13 tax collector sort of prayer. It is resonating deeply with me, and perhaps providing language and even a path to converse more candidly with the Lord about the everyday realities of my heart and mind amidst this unsettling season. A gift to me yesterday and I share it with you today…
“We’ve All Been Exposed” a poem by Sarah Bourns:
We’ve all been exposed.
Not necessarily to the virus
(maybe…who even knows ).
We’ve all been exposed BY the virus.
Corona is exposing us.
Exposing our weak sides.
Exposing our dark sides.
Exposing what normally lays far beneath the surface of our souls,
hidden by the invisible masks we wear.
Now exposed by the paper masks we can’t hide far enough behind.
Corona is exposing our addiction to comfort.
Our obsession with control.
Our compulsion to hoard.
Our protection of self.
Corona is peeling back our layers.
Tearing down our walls.
Revealing our illusions.
Leveling our best-laid plans.
Corona is exposing the gods we worship:
Our sense of security.
Our favorite lies
Our secret lusts
Our misplaced trust.
Corona is calling everything into question:
What is the church without a building?
What is my worth without an income?
How do we plan without certainty?
How do we love despite risk?
Corona is exposing me.
My mindless numbing
My endless scrolling
My careless words
My fragile nerves.
We’ve all been exposed.
Our junk laid bare.
Our fears made known.
The band-aid torn.
The masquerade done.
So what now? What’s left?
What Corona reveals, God can heal.
Come Lord Jesus.
Have mercy on us.
I found this poem on The Alliance website. Thank you Sarah Bourns.