Covid Meditations

As we face Lockdown 3.0, Sue Cleave, from St Clement’s Church, Oxford, wrote the meditation below. It is a sequel to an earlier reflection, at the bottom of the page. We hope Sue’s words may bring you some hope in these hard times.

An Exhortation to Myself – A Third Covid Meditation

Lockdown three.
The noose is tightening.
Distances shorten, boundaries shrink.
Numbers still growing. The stresses are greater.
When will it end? When come some release?

With hopes of normality ever more distant,
It’s hard to stay hopeful, however I try.
It’s tough when the hardest decision of each day
Is Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime, Netflix, or Sky.

A day without purpose is a day to be dreaded,
Crossed off in the diary with nothing to show.
So give it some structure, a sense of progression.
Take back control of time’s ceaseless flow.

Search out new options, find a solution;
Don’t just exist, wake up, come alive.
There has to be scope to be more creative,
Awaken lost gifts and help your soul thrive.

Music and art are God’s gift to humanity,
Beauty of tone, of colour and form.
Relish the time to pause and explore them;
They’ll stir up emotions, like memories reborn.

Keep looking outward, think of the other,
Pick up the phone, the mouse, or the pen.
Give to the Foodbank, help out a neighbour,
Tell someone dear you appreciate them.

Thank God for scientists, researchers, technicians,
Providing new vaccines, protection and hope.
Thanks too to the medics, the physios and nurses,
The drivers, the bin men, who all help us cope.

The stresses will grow, some days will be trying,
Energy may flag, tempers may fray.
But seek out fresh purpose, give thanks, be creative;
Count every blessing, give help where you may;
And after the testing, we’ll come through this stronger,
More thankful, more caring, more Christ-like, I pray.

Sue M Cleave

Jan 2021

The following poem was written nine months after the first lockdown began.

From My Bubble – A Covid Meditation Nine Months On

Seconds out, Round 2, Tier 2,

Déjà vu.

This time we know what’s coming and the heart sinks.

No Spring to lift our mood, no sun-filled days to divert us;

Autumn is daunting enough in the best of times

As the harbinger of greyness and decay to come,

But now already each day brings its losses –

Fewer flowers, shorter days and all too little to distract us.

Even in anticipation our mood spirals downwards.

Too much time, too little motivation.

We settle into a type of torpor

As the flatness of undifferentiated days takes its toll.

Only the rules change – daily it seems

As politicians weigh health against finances,

Scientists against economists,

Consensus against revolt.

Even Solomon in all his wisdom would be daunted.

The promise of a vaccine offers hope,

But not now, not yet.

So what now? Do we write off Christmas?

Or is there a better way?

It was never meant to be about self-indulgence,

About eating and drinking, comfort and prosperity.

It all started in a draughty stable,

With no family around, no hospital care,

Only a decree to comply with and taxes to pay.

So let’s get back to basics; strip away all accretions,

See it for what it really is – a true cause for celebration.

A birth, a child, a promise, a Saviour.

Emmanuel – God with us. One born to suffer for us

And suddenly a light penetrates the darkness.

A true sense of proportion returns.

Sue M Cleave

Nov 2020

If you have created something in lockdown that you think might bring hope and inspiration to others, get in touch.