Subtitle: Now what?
Sub-subtitle: Looking through the lens of John 6.1-13
It’s August. The season of summer recreation –
lost, with so very much else,
to the shadowing, lingering virus –
signaling the advent of the school year,
should be ringing…
welcoming onrushing, ready feet,
bearing open minds and hearts
for joyous reunions with friends
to take the next and anxious step up learning’s ladder,
should be swinging open…
with parents able to return to work full-time,
if, when there is full-time work.
But the shadowing, lingering virus,
with rising rates, soaring spikes of infection and death,
casts its stifling pall,
silencing the bells,
shutting the doors,
spoiling the sleep of administrators
educational and governmental authorities;
wracking their brains,
wringing their hands
in endless hours (though not, though never enough) of discernment unclear
(with even less money)
and decisions unresolved, asking:
What do we do?
When do we do it?
Where do we do it?
How do we do it?
in disinfectant-scented classrooms
of masked students, 6-feet apart
and with schedules of alternating days?
Or on-line, wi-fi, hot-spotted distance-learning?
(And how about our computer-less kids
who dwell in our poorest cyber-less canyons of no connection?)
Or a hybrid model of the best
(or, at least, the least of the worst of each)?
Does it fly?
Will it drive?
How far will it go?
Is it equipped for a smooth or bumpy trip?
Or a bit of both?
Though, surely, knowing how much might be (and already has been) lost,
who knows what can and will be gained?
It’s August, Lord.
I don’t know, and I judge not, what others are doing,
but I turn to you.
You who –
with compassioned-eyes, gazing on vast crowds longing for bread,
which six months’ wages were not enough to provide –
receiving from a child’s willing hands two fish and loaves, five,
and then feeding all
and with left over baskets of fragments.
How did you do it, Lord?
Was it a mystical multiplication of physical matter;
surpassing the governance of normative laws of nature?
Or a sacramental action, giving each but a morsel?
The real feeding, spiritual, each being blessed by wonder.
Or a natural transaction of spiritual dimension?
Your free giving of your little inspiring all to share their much.
I don’t know, Lord,
but I do know that all were fed
and I do know that you, somehow, did it.
It’s August, Lord.
And I dare beseech, I do beg that you to do it again.
Feed the minds of your children hungering for the bread of learning.
Free all from the peril of illness.
Fashion the best from the worst for the good of us all.
© 2020 PRA
Illustration: Feeding the Multitudes, Bernardo Strozzi (1581-1644)