Maybe God is Self-Isolating

This morning I lay in bed half-awake

and try to pray into silence

The first words I hear 

“Maybe God is self-isolating”


It certainly feels that way to me and has

For a long while now

Long before all of this began

If you have never felt the lightning bolt of God

I am sorry but

It really is something

Enough bread to live on the crumbs for days



And after that, the memory of bread

The hunger pangs

The need to be touched


To thrive in quarantine, do as Jesus did

Escape a crowd into mystery

Board a boat and drift away, leaving friends and followers

Walk out into the sea where none can follow – the rougher the waves the better

Make yourself repulsive by demanding people eat your flesh and drink your blood 

Disguise yourself as a traveller and journey alone,

Or a solitary gardener

Go off into a garden with friends who will desert you

So that your pain magnifies into blood-sweat

Don’t let those who love you hold you

When all of this fails, ascend into the air


In the time of the virus, the Lord would not listen

Taking on flesh was a risk in the first place, but 

The things he did in that flesh! Some example!

Touching beggars and lepers – the most vulnerable –

When he could be a carrier

If anyone was a carrier, surely him

Spitting in the mud and touching eyes – eyes!

Sharing well-water with a foreigner after travelling beyond city walls 

In flagrant violation of Shelter In Place

Handing out bread and fish and shared germs to thousands in a single sitting

Allowing a woman to pour her tears across his feet and 

Wipe them with her hair

Who was she? And where did she come from? And what did she bring in with her?

He himself did worse, demanding each disciple submit to 

Their feet being washed with his hands

Making sure that all were touched

His disciples were right to be appalled

He would have to be stopped

But that was no use

Even his betrayer had to brush his skin 

Dipping bread into the common bowl

Even Judas had to kiss his lips

Moments later he caressed the bloody hole where an ear used to be

Even death could not stop him

Touching, touching, touching everything

Sharing roasted fish on the shore

Inviting Thomas to finger his wounds for proof

The hole still sticky with blood attempting a scab

Inviting me to share a loaf of bread and cup of wine

Always touching

Even now

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