A silent, invisible, threatening pestilence,
with a smiling face and contagious laugh;
a killer of dreams, destroyer of purpose,
holding no respect of persons.
It offers no Good Friday reprieve;
observes no blood on the doorpost, Passover.
No respect for the aged, the innocent, the believer.
No regard for the rich, the famous, the politician.
It steals with impunity and breaks the scales of justice.
It embraces carelessness, hubris, and the opportunist,
but carries with it a reckoning, a promise, a forever change.
Empowered by anguish, indifference, and uncertainty,
it exacts its fierce toll, exposing our iniquities.
A collector, ready to claim whoever, whatever, whenever it wills,
it demands audience with all of humanity.
Will our bodies betray or protect us when it arrives?
We cannot leave it to chance or blissful ignorance.
We cover; we distance; we resist, but never surrender.
Nineteen, a number not of death,
but of growth and spiritual awakening.
We nod to death’s certainty, but not before our time.
With places to go, things to do and see, love to make,
we fight, encourage, strengthen, love and are loved.
Knowing tomorrows were never promised,
we seize the day, living it as it is to be lived,
praying without ceasing, hoping without despair, loving without fear;
service without suspicion; courage without cruelty;
distance without disconnection.
We awaken from our slumber to redeem our days, to catch our fall,
to embrace the promise of our standing. If we do so together…