A poem for the globally interconnected uncertainty we’re living in

Lynn Ungar Pandemic

Lynn Ungar is a spiritual leader, where she acts as a minister for the Church of the Larger Fellowship, an online congregation for Unitarian Universalists and other religious liberals.

I confess that after I had read Lynn’s poem below, and researched a little more about her and her background to find she was a church minister, my immediate response was one of scepticism.

Given the oneness of the world, underlined by the rapid move towards mass global interconnection through commercial travel and the Internet over the past three decades, Church teachings have seemed more and more to me to belong to a different time and place, when all of us were armed with much less information and knowledge and wisdom than we are now.

But further reading soothed me a bit. The Church of the Larger Fellowship describes its philosophy as being not about doctrine or creed. “We are atheists and Christians, Buddhists and Jews, agnostics and Hindus, who know that no metaphor or story of the holy is big enough to truly hold what is holy … We are people who value diversity: of opinion, of culture, of language, of life experience, of spiritual practice.”

More than a church minister, Ms Ungar is also a poet, and I am sharing her work here as it is a new work of art that seemed to speak directly to me during these uncertain times all of us, all over the world, are living through.

——

Pandemic

By Lynn Ungar

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.


Read more about Lynn Ungar and her work here.

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