“Comfort, comfort, ye my people,” says our God.Isaiah 40
Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
When Sarah Jarosz sang “open my window, birds still sing” from her new song on NPR’s Morning Edition last week, I felt like a mother eagle had flown into my COVID-19 heart and carried me on her wings. “Up In The Clouds” is a poignant, joyful, reminder of hope in the COVID-19 era. (Hear Grammy-nominated Jarosz’s “Up In the Clouds” and her interview with David Greene here.) As we stare into the next surge of Coronavirus, let us notice our resilience and celebrate the birds that still sing.
Month after month, we kept going. We cleaned pantries and garages when the pandemic began, baked bread, put Teddy Bears in windows, planted gardens, and drew with chalk on sidewalks.
In the beginning, we stitched thousands of masks at our kitchen tables and gave them away for free. We thanked essential workers for risking their health on our behalf. We eagerly awaited summer so we could be outside the confines of our home.
We closed our businesses. Cared for our sick. Buried our dead. Learned how to worship, meet, and chat on Zoom. We have been resilient.
And yet, the Coronavirus is not finished with us yet. More isolation and sorrow await us this winter.
Like the Psalmist, we plead for a word of hope, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?”
“Open your window,” says the Eternal One. “Birds still sing.”
All is not lost. There is still love. And goodness. And God who, like a mother eagle, catches us when we fall.
Squirrels still bury nuts in my garden, and my chickens still lay eggs. Eyes smile above face masks. Snow sparkles today on mountain peaks. Vaccines will come in the new year.
Birds still sing. Beauty is still being created, music sung, and laughter heard. Wrongs are still being righted, broken relationships mended, people comforted, hungry folk fed. A world is still being born.
This pandemic will mark us for the rest of our life. Some of us will bounce back quickly. Others will take a long time to fly again. Some will be gone.
Those who make it through will say when facing a new challenge, “If I made it through the Great Pandemic, I can handle this ____.” We will celebrate how strong we are and how resilient we have become.
Every morning it’s the same. Coffee and memories fill my cup.From “Up In The Clouds” by Sarah Jarosz
And I’ve been thinking that I should learn how to do something new with my time – dig my hands in the dirt, build something that works, get all my loose ends tied.
Open my window, birds still sing.
I want to learn all of their songs, sometime this century till the water washes us away.