The Christmas story is full of Angels. Not nice metaphorical angels, but fearful bearers of the news of heaven, breaking into the both ordered and hardscrabble human life. As we live through the Third Lockdown of Coronatide, God’s holy angels who announced the birth of the Christ in Bethlehem, are still on the loose.
These days of rampant Coronavirus leave us with knowledge of the gravely sick, only held in life by medic’s bounden hospitality to strangers. Our friends known and not yet met, drifting in the breathless sleep of the nearly dead. These are the days of angels, of inexplicable closeness, unexpected apparition, and the hope of life even as grief surrounds us.
In the days to come, when the pandemic recedes, grieving, survivor and spared alike will measure these days, and their happenings. The choice to muzzle, domesticate and submerge our experiences will be before us. This is neither good, nor godly, nor healthy. It is though the easy path. Harder, but wiser is to enter into the midst of the experiences we have had and be changed by them.
First published in the Ampfield Messenger, a parish magazine in the group of churches where I help out.