Finding Meaning in the Senseless

What to Make of the Senseless Picture

They call this virus ‘novel’.

For no one was immune.

It’s like a killer plague.

An indiscriminating pestilence.

It’s invisible and diffused.

Tiny, unseen particles.

Everywhere we breath.

With devastating spread.


And it’s in our human nature.

To want to hold accountable.

To know the ‘why’s’ of this.

Especially the unfair.

To find the ones responsible.

The target of our blame.

The reason for our pain.


We often point to Others here.

Singly or a class.

Another country, another place.

And ‘name’ this virus after them.

So now it has a ‘face’.

Demonize the victims.

Blame them for our misery.

Or fear they’ll take advantage.

To manifest ‘their’ destiny.

Amidst our lasting pain.

But how helpful is this, anyway?


Or we’ll haul God right into this.

It must surely play a part.

It’s a message from above.

To give us warning, a window for reform.

Withholding power and grace.

Permitting this to happen.

But how helpful is this anyway?

God’s power lies in love.

Not discriminating force.


What’s worse, we hold Ourselves responsible.

For what we should or could have done.

What we didn’t do enough of.

Too weak to win the fight.

Or simply had it coming.

But all this leads to shame.

A demonizing inside force.

Creating nothing but self-blame.

How helpful is that, anyway?


Perhaps it’s no one’s fault?

Maybe it’s inevitable.

Senseless things just happen.

Along with sadness, grief, and loss.

Sometimes we simply get it wrong.

Or it’s random in the scheme of things.

In the very nature of this world.

Our fragile planet ever changes.

Unpredictable and inexplicable.

We’ve walked this path before.

With never knowing why.

So, blaming others isn’t helpful.

Nor making God responsible.

Nor pointing at ourselves.

For there’s no message here.

But for this one:


It is about survival.

And getting through this mess.

And coming out in one piece.

But it’s got to be much more.

It’s using our shared suffering.

However painful that may be.

For the virus asks of us.

Far more than we can ask of it.

Not why or why us now.

But how this moment calls on us.

Who are we in times of struggle?

What can we be?

How can we grow in spite of it?

What can we learn from it?

Who can we lean on?

Who can we be there for?

Who can we love and care for more?

Who can we weep for?

Who can we console?

Who can we listen to?

With whom can we mourn?

With whom can we cry?

With whom can we share…

A tear, a laugh, a story.


It’s not on someone else.

Or somewhere else.

It’s on Us…. right Here.

Not from a safer distance.

But in close quarters of what’s amongst us.

Nor simply when we someday exit.

Our fearsome virus foe.

Not sometime down the road.

To when we’ve kicked the can for later.

Not ‘from’ the long-cooled ashes.

But ‘in’ the very midst of things.

Right where we find them Now.













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