Every four days it kills more than the virus

A great video by the guys at Speak Life  by Glen Scrivener (who has featured on this blog before here and here).  The video is called ‘Numbers’ but my title is taken from a line later in the poem that should cause us to wonder what it could possibly be!!

 

Numbers. That’s what we get, each day we’re beset with numbers.

Numbers doing what numbers do, Numbing the me, numbing the you, Numbing our sense of the she and the he, Numbing the sense that THEY are me.

With numbers ‘They’ stay ‘THEY’, It’s what numbers have allowed.

Each life lost is lost in the crowd. The shroud of death enfolds the heap, Costs it cheap.

We try to weep but numbers can put us all to sleep.

Except for those who we have known, Our flesh and blood, our very own, Who, when exhaling final groans, heard our goodbyes on the phone.

And then were buried all alone. How can each loss be shown?

Each mum, each son, each dad, each wife, Each irreplaceable, iridescent life.

Each gift a vast amount. Each ONE too much to count. Beware the numbers, our dose each day, Until we’re numbered all away.

Until we’re deadened to the toll, Till each one’s lost into the whole. But no.

Awake my soul.

Make each figure strike, Like spurs in my flesh, to stir me afresh, To see galactic worth distilled in each daughter of earth, in each son brought to birth, And near infinite crime in snuffing them out.

Let me shout to the skies with full-throated cries, and, desperate—despise—when the least of them dies.

And when COVID is done, May the numbers not numb May we wake from our slumber And number each one.

Because some day soon you will hear that the peak is long past and we’ve got the All Clear.

The lockdown has lifted and friends can draw near. And we will cheer. But let’s be clear, The numbers are not what they appear.

Each year, in this land, understand we have FOUR Covids. In This Nation, 200 000 terminations. A four-fold pestilence devours these isles, the dead in piles, a hideous mount.

But do THEY count?

In heaven’s account but what will WE say? Each day, 550 slain. They are Abel. We are Cain. And righteous blood cries out in vain. It does not enter our calculation.

We deem it beneath our briefing the nation. We only make public explanation of THESE when disEASE is pursuing. But not when the deaths are All OUR doing.

And maybe you say, “It doesn’t compare.” I say: That’s fair. Cos with the virus we were afflicted, this black death is self-inflicted. Are you convicted?

I’ll depict another figure, this one’s bigger. As I bring this number, I hear you numbing, You are. You’re ahhing and umming, You’re drumming your fingers. Your mind is elsewhere. There you go with that thousand yard stare. Are you there?

By June, worldwide, half a million have died of COVID. As I’ve said, each ONE dead is plenty.

But if we’re counting in millions, abortion’s killed 20. And that’s just by June. It’s not stopping any time soon. Every four days it kills more than the virus.

Let this truth fire us: in 96 hours it devours just the same. But without the fame. This, friend, is our silent shame. So awake my soul.

Make each figure strike, Like spurs in my flesh, to stir me afresh, To see galactic worth distilled in each daughter of earth, in each son meant for birth.

And near infinite crime in snuffing them out.

Let me shout to the skies with full-throated cries, and—desperate—despise, when the least of them dies. And when COVID is done, May the numbers not numb May we wake from our slumber And number each one.

 

 

Glen Scrivener is an Australian author and speaker living in the UK.

Speak Life is a UK based charity that resources the church to reach the world.

Love Never Fails

Many people will be in despair and hopelessness. 

Asking:  Where is the hope in the midst of such unusual events worldwide?

 

The Apostle Paul said that ‘Love never fails’ (1 Cor 13:8).

He went on to say, “these three remain: faith, hope and love.  And the greatest of these is love” (v.13).

 

I’ll say something about this love in a minute.

But as for hope?  It is seen and acted out in and through the Church of Jesus Christ.

Just as Jesus was incarnated, 

God becoming a man;

So the Church is incarnational.  

It is the people.

The bodies are the Body of Jesus Christ in the world.  

That’s where hope lies.

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The Wall

It occurred to me in the last few days that there is a comparable situation between two unlikely events, that can end up producing similar outcomes.

At the turn of the millennium, I was a YWAM missionary, first training in the UK then in the Middle East.  Part of my own research and study involved coming to factual terms with what is termed “culture shock,” which is a very real, dynamic and potentially dangerous event.

IMG-4112

Different cultures operate in different ways.  Hot climate cultures differ from cold climate cultures.  Even one hot climate culture may differ quite dramatically from another hot climate culture, to lesser or greater degrees.  Most people who go abroad will know in tiny part what I mean.  We go for a week or two, enjoy the experience, soak up the atmosphere, enjoy ourselves.  Laugh or frown at the driving, customs, language or principle mood of the place, but in the end, the return ticket is in our pocket.  We’re going home, and we know it.  Imagine going to a place so alien in language and custom, not to mention temperature and (from a Western perspective), hygiene – with a single ticket.  You’re there for the long-haul and you’ve got to deal with what comes your way.  And anyone who thinks or assumes this is easy has not experienced what I am attempting to articulate. 

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A Saint, A Wolf & Covid-19

What follows is my extended script for a BBC Radio Devon Pause for Thought planned for Sunday 19th April 2020.  It is a fascinating truth-containing fable of the 13th century involving a famous Saint and an infamous Wolf:

St Francis of Assisi and the Wolf

During the early 13th century, we meet an extraordinary figure:  

A determined pleasure seeker in his youth, loving the good and fast life of high society.  

 

But he had an experience of Jesus Christ 

that transformed this classic sinner into a most radical saint.

 

His name is Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, but we know him as St. Francis of Assisi. 

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One Step Enough for Me

I am reading John Henry Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua, which is to say, as intellectually stimulating as it is and as he is, this Anglican turned Catholic turned recently canonized Saint, is very demanding (thanks Tony)!!!

Newman

Anyway, I came across a poem he had read after following up on another thing, and came across a poem he wrote whilst sick and away from home.  In the current Covid-19 pandemic that has swept the globe, we can easily feel overwhelmed and disorientated.  But the language of the poem, though old fashioned does convey a truth about God’s providential care that we will do well to remember; namely that while we can never know the fullness of the How’s and the Why’s, we are nevertheless called to trust God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, if not for the first time, then for the umpteenth time and in deeper, personal ways, daily.

Notice the lines in the first stanza: Keep Thou my feet; I do not see, The distant scene; one step enough for me!

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