Yes, there is fear.
Yes, there is isolation.
Yes, there is panic buying.
Yes, there is sickness.
Yes, there is even death.
But they say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise, you can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet, the sky is no longer thick with fumes, but blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi people are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open, so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the west of Ireland is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today, a young woman I know is busy spreading flyers with her number through the neighbourhood so that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today, churches, synagogues, mosques and temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way.
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality.
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
So we pray and we remember that yes, there is fear, but there does not have to be hate.
Yes, there is isolation, but there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes, there is panic buying, but there does not have to be meanness.
Yes, there is sickness, but there does not have to be disease of the soul.
Yes, there is even death, but there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Behind the factory noises of your panic the birds are singing again.
The sky is clearing.
Spring is coming, and we are always encompassed by love.
Open the windows of your soul and though you may not be able to touch across the empty square… sing.