Even If Through Zoom
Author: Linda Kowatch
“The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the Lord;” “O Lord, I pray, save my life!” ~ Psalm 116:3-4
Six months into the pandemic we still are wearing masks and logging countless hours on Zoom with no end in sight. Many are living in isolation to protect themselves and those more vulnerable, but are suffering from loneliness due to not having the physical love and support of friends and families. We continue to hear stories of horror of our siblings of color being systemically oppressed and even killed. The earth is groaning as in one region it is burning up by uncontrolled wildfires and in another region high winds and rain are causing deadly flooding. We are in the midst of a political season rife with division and unknown consequential outcomes. And many of us are suffering from personal crises that just keep piling on. We, too, cry out like the Psalmist, “O Lord, I pray, save my life!”
In April of this year I was part of a Wednesday Night Zoom Group that got together to talk and pray. COVID-19 was wreaking havoc in our community. Some of us knew people who had the virus and several of us had loved ones who died in the first two months of the pandemic. Many in the group were anxious and worn out. One man, who was considered an essential worker, was tested twice in April for the virus because he was exposed to clients and co-workers who were positive and extremely ill. I will never forget the night when he shared how he was doing. He said, “I am afraid and I am exhausted.”
In times like these, sometimes all we can do is cry out to God, but it is also ALL we can do. When we cry out to God, it is an act of faith. Every time we communicate with God is a holy moment. We are turning to the Creator in the midst of chaos. We are acknowledging that even when it doesn’t feel like it, God is still present. That night we all shared honestly and read Psalm 116 together. Because of one brave friend being honest, the rest of the group was able to be honest too. We cried out to God as a group and read Psalm 116 as a prayer. God heard our voices and our supplications. On that night God used the group to comfort and strengthen one another. God saved our lives, even if through Zoom.
Prayer: Gracious and Loving God, We come to you filled with anxiety in this time, but when we cry out to you we are reminded that you hear each of your precious children. Just as you walked with the Psalmist through distress, anguish and the snares of death, you are with us today. Help us to usher your presence into the lives of those with whom we come contact. “I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all God’s people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!”