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Life or death trauma
Despite masks, vaccinations
Cough fever Covid
“I see you, Loved One”
Breath by Breath, ventilator
Breath by Breath, “Ruach! Spirit!”
“Dear God, I See You!”
Last breath, I.C.U.
No more struggle. no more pain
“We receive you, Child”
“We release you, Child”
Breath by breath, no more machine
Healed at I.C.U.
With great humility, I attest to having written (and released) the above five-stanza haiku prayer-poem, composed during an hour and a half Spirit Quest Hike on the day after Easter 2020. Back then, in the early stages of the pandemic, the precautions were mainly hand washing, restrictions for indoor gatherings, and social distancing practices. I’ve here updated the poem’s second line to reflect the subsequent mass production and distribution of face masks and vaccines (the original seven syllable phrase was “Despite Social Distancing”). Back then few of us here in the Midwest had been exposed to the virus, nor knew of anyone who had come down with Covid, let alone had I.C.U. experiences. That, of course, is no longer the case.
Over a year and a half have passed now — last breath “Ruach! Spirit!” prayer cries in the millions have been expressed by beloved children of God who have passed away (over four and a half million souls worldwide, with approximately three quarters of a million being of the USA). For yours truly, these numbers include an uncle and an aunt, plus several church and community members where I have served. (This article is dedicated to them all — for their honor, dignity, and respect.)
At the heart of the prayer poem is the word “Ruach” which is an ancient biblical word meaning Life! Spirit! Breath! “Ruach” was involved with the beginning of Creation (Genesis 1:26 & 2:7):
God said, “Let Us make Mankind in our image, in our likeness, …”
The LORD God formed MAN from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the Breath of Life, and the Man became a living being.
New Creation in Christ also involves “Ruach” for when the Resurrected Christ, the Son of Man, Son of God, Jesus our Lord and Risen Savior appeared to the disciples on Easter Evening, He gave this blessing:
“Peace be with you! As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.”
And with that, He breathed on them and said,
“Receive the Holy Spirit…” — John 20:21-22
There are plenty of unknowns and mysteries in the world, and plenty of them involve the present pandemic. Breath by breath, may we all praise God — Father, Son, and Spirit (“Ruach” — for God works in mysterious, and glorious ways, indeed. And so we praise the LORD God for the present (and emergent) treatments for Covid, including the Intensive Care Unit (I.C.U.) nurses, doctors, other staff, and equipment there, as well as preventive measures (among them being masks and vaccinations).
One thing is certain — that each of us eventually will take that “last breath.” Therefore, may the rest of our lives be peace-filled, Spirit-led, forgiving and compassionate of others, through the blessed presence and power of the Triune God:
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. — 2 Corinthians 13:14