A remote place. To be alone (Matthew 14:13). An Isolated place (Mark. 1:35). The secluded place (Mark 1:45).
These words pop right out of the Bible I am reading this morning. It was the condition of my existence for the last month. Not because of the Coronavirus, but because of the Flu, type A, to be exact. First me, and then my daughter, we fell ill one by one and were forced to stay inside the house for the majority of February. Somewhere along the days and weeks of burning woods in my fireplace, going through the entire stock of Kleenex boxes, shivering in cold chills despite the layers of clothes and a winter coat I am wearing- cold rain came and went and dreary dark winter days passed by outside my windows.
Things were getting worse out there, too. First, China, and then my home country, South Korea. As the dark news of the spread of Coronavirus in Daegu, South Korea was intensifying, I was searching for a mask for my daughter to help her with her cough. I found it in the small box where I keep my daughter’s ballet gears. Right next to the child sized pink mask was my pink case where I store my rosary and prayer cards. I had my rosary tucked away during my last move and never went back to praying the rosary. From that night on, I started my rosary prayer once again, vowing that I will never again let these precious beads out of my touch.
So in my search for a mask, I found the rosary. I knelt each night by my daughter’s side, praying for her recovery from flu. It was not long into the prayer that I realized I was not simply called to pray for my daughter’s recovery. I was called to pray for those affected by Coronavirus. To join in their sufferings, and to prepare for what may come before us.
A remote place.
An isolated place.
A secluded place.
These are the realities of our life right now. People are called to quarantine themselves. Voluntarily and involuntarily, we have to shut ourselves down. Mothers are separated from their children, and friends and co-workers keep their distance. Yes, we are all connected through the power of prayers and we are all in the bosom of God and we cannot essentially be separated in any conditions. But still, the human suffering and sadness is there. We grieve our limited conditions. We let our tears roll down our cheeks and I believe these are the beads, these are our prayers, theses are our efforts that we send up to the Lord who has it all under control.
So I hope, today, you find an isolated place and pray. Send up your sighs and mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Because who know- it may be your turn to be isolated and it may not be your choice.