Bella Abouelkheir | 7 April 2020
Bella is a a third-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine with a B.S. in Chemistry. She hopes to complete a pediatrics residency and then sub-specialize in pediatric critical care to become a pediatric intensivist.
Walking along the abandoned sidewalk outside my home,
I think about corona and all it's taken away:
I think about the careers on hold,
The reprioritizing of life,
The definition of essential,
And the complete loss of control
With which our lives are rife.
Where a virus too small to see
Wipes out the land as far as the eye can see.
I think about the fear that grips everyone's heart
Like a vice,
When their loved one starts to cough
And shiver as if with ice.
And my heart cries, "Lord, why?
Do you do this, just to see us try?
Do you do this just to see us fly,
Like crazy people at a loss for what to do?"
That's just not like You.
Or is it?
The God of the Old Testament
Seems like One who would let this be.
He seems to smite His people with plagues,
Bringing harsh punishments,
And causing life to fall into disarray
When the people stumble from His way.
But the God of the New Testament,
He seems to be different.
He says, "Come what may, be of good cheer
For I have overcome whatever draws near."
"Come all you who are heavy laden," says He,
"So that your rest I may be."
So then...why the discrepancy?
If You are the same yesterday and tomorrow,
Why is my heart filled with such sorrow?
Lord, why do you bring us to this wilderness?
An ocean full of isolation and illness.
Why would you force us to slow down?
Could it perhaps be to hear the sound
Of your voice with mine own ear?
The still, small one
That's been talking for years,
The one that wants to take away all of my fears?
Lord, if you are the same,
You must be acting in the pattern told by your fame.
So then, If the past is any guide,
We are in for quite the wild ride.
In whatever Testament we choose to look
There is a testimony in every nook of Scripture:
Of your love and the tools to show it
Even though we might not know it.
Lord, even from the start,
From the beginning we see you impart
The knowledge of your ways
So much higher than we could ever appraise.
There, in the midst of the garden,
You planted the seed for our pardon.
Though we betrayed thee by eating from the tree
You told Eve to flee, for her own sake
That she may return, in time,
To partake of you forever.
Thus you showed Yourself strong to Your creation,
Enacting the tools of our salvation
From the beginning.
To the Israelites too, you revealed your power.
So that, in their repentant hour,
They would return
That despite being an offender,
To them You would still reveal your splendor.
In this way, they could remain in your fold,
What a wonder to behold!
Perhaps even the wilderness you use to touch
The human soul to meet with her such:
Before sending her off with her special mission
To a specific place.
Moses you met on the mountain alone
To give hime a tome of how to live life,
The way you designed
So that we would always
Keep you in mind.
St. Paul to Arabia you led for years three,
To prepare him to share the Gospel
Of who he now knew you to be.
Even in the example of Hosea we see,
Him drawing his wife into the wilderness to be
Alone together. His wife no longer to roam,
That he may serve her in the solitude of their home.
The Shulamite too, in that Song of Songs,
You've drawn away to minister and heal all her wrongs.
Even though, when through her door she heard your knock,
She remained in her seat, not moving, as if a rock.
We, like her, are dark but lovely,
Lost in the waves of the sea
Of our own sins.
Searching for a win
That would take away the reality of shame
And all the heaps of guilt and blame
We carry upon ourselves.
So, with our keys on our shelves,
Untouched because of the need to stay inside
Take shelter and hide
In the embrace of the Creator
Who desires you to be
In the arms of the one who made thee.
He is not far away, but draws near
To give a listening ear,
All your cares to hear,
And all your hairs to number,
To protect you while you slumber.
To speak: "Comfort, yes comfort my people
Although the doors beneath the steeple
Are closed for a short time
This period, we can still make sublime
For I am not simply God above,"
"I am your
God of love."
"Jesus Himself drew near and went with them." (Luke 24:15)