Notes from Home – March 27, 2020

Dear friends,

As more and more of us begin to live under shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders being issued by counties and municipalities, I pray that each of you remains safe and well.

“Safe and well” is a phrase I find myself using multiple times each day: when I speak on the phone to my family, during Session meetings, when I email friends, even in meetings at IBM, both with my co-workers in the US and with my co-workers in China. “Safe and well” are the words that communicate the deepest longings of my heart for everyone in these days of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Safe and well” expresses the psalmist’s deepest longing for God’s protection. I find myself drawing much strength and comfort from the Psalms these days. They are the prayers I turn to when, as Paul says, “I do not know how to pray as I ought.” These words from Psalm 40 express my own heart-cries very well:

Do not, O Lord, withhold your mercy from me; let your steadfast love and your faithfulness keep me safe forever. For evils have encompassed me without number; my iniquities have overtaken me, until I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails me. Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me.

When you feel overwhelmed and anxious, and your prayer life feels paralyzed by fear, know that you can turn to scripture and pray the words that God’s people have prayed for millennia. And God will hear you.

May you be safe and well,