3:30pm is my time to be informed;
My time to “catch up” on how many more are sick;
how many more are to be mourned.
Just one here so far, but cases are soaring everyday single day,
It might be good to skip the news
But (for some reason) I cannot look away.

But I don’t just check here,
I check everywhere:
The US (my old home now closed to me),
And, in particular, New York City.
What on earth is going on?
How is this possible?
(And why can’t I stop watching?)
Two weeks ago life seemed normal,
We gathered for coffee, or church,
But now we’re building pop-up hospitals.
What on earth?
And really, the whole earth?

But guaranteed, tomorrow,
I’ll feel like things are normal;
feel like things are okay.
Until 3:30.
3:30 mountain time.
That’s when the panic sets in,
and my mind begins to race,
“is this the beginning of the end?”
Then I google “Covid-19 Alberta…New York City”
Why? And why can’t I stop looking?
What’s wrong with me?

Command W.
“He leads me beside quiet waters.”

Everything is changing so fast.
Except for You.
You are moved,
but you do not change.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”
You still remain
“Light from light,
True God from true God.”
Hiding place.

Oh God.
Oh Man of Sorrows
Acquainted with grief
Wounded for our transgressions
Bruised for our iniquities.
Be with us now, and at the hour of 3:30.
3:30pm mountain time – the valley of the shadow of death…
Help us remember:
3pm Golgotha time – you bore our death.
You beat us to it.
Just like you beat us to resurrection;
“the firstborn among the dead.”
All is not lost;
and even the end is not the end.
So turn my 3:30 despair,
into 3:30 prayer,
Oh unchanging God,
And by your stripes, heal even this.

A Pandemic Prayer
Lent 2020