There will come a day when the last tear is shed. Until then, God has made him­self present in our afflic­tion.

For today’s musi­cal pair­ing, Der Klang der Offen­barung des Göt­tlichen by Kjar­tan Sveins­son. See video below.

“Then King Neb­uchad­nez­zar leaped to his feet in amaze­ment and asked his advis­ers, ‘Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?’ They replied, ‘Cer­tain­ly, Your Majesty.’ He said, ‘Look! I see four men walk­ing around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.’”
Daniel 3:24–25

Day 7. 511,603 con­firmed cas­es, 22,993 deaths glob­al­ly.

The suf­fer­ing in this present moment is not cap­tured in tal­lies and num­bers. Along­side the loss of life is the loss of liveli­hoods, the loss of inno­cence, the loss of a sense of secu­ri­ty. The scent of fear is in the air, and in the midst of the pan­dem­ic our epi­dem­ic of lone­li­ness grows deep­er.

Suf­fer­ing has a ten­den­cy to iso­late. It can carve us away from com­mu­ni­ty, set us apart from the crowd, and strip away all our dis­trac­tions and illu­sions and con­so­la­tions. No one can expe­ri­ence our pain for us. No one can take it away. No one can cov­er it over with sooth­ing words or glit­ter­ing ideas. Even when we suf­fer togeth­er, we suf­fer alone.

“The most ter­ri­ble pover­ty is lone­li­ness,” Moth­er Tere­sa wrote, “and the feel­ing of being unloved.” Now the pan­dem­ic has made our spir­i­tu­al iso­la­tion phys­i­cal. We find our­selves in an enforced soli­tude, where our fears and anx­i­eties echo in the empti­ness. We ache for the pres­ence of oth­ers.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed­nego were bound and hurled into the fiery fur­nace togeth­er, and they emerged unbound and unharmed. God met them in the fire. Chris­tians are not wrong to read the sto­ry in the light of the Incar­na­tion. …

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