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  • Jeffrey C. Pugh

Good Friday with the Plague

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

At first it's the normal sounds—wind, birds, humming of bees, slight rustle of newly green trees—but then the cacophonous clatter of the unsettling: the continuous whirl of cars flying down the interstate, shots from the gun range miles away, as if they're preparing for the apocalypse, and oddest of all, children screaming in delighted play as if they had no idea that the angel of death has returned for another periodic visit.

I sit in my bucolic backyard and ponder if or when he'll visit here for we have no marker to distinguish us as protected, no special sign that we are safe, because we aren't. I can pray "Let this pass from me," but prayer didn't help Jesus in the end, did it? So, here I sit, poised on the knife edge of life and death and I realize that the last month has been one long prayer every time I read about another health worker, first responder, or unknown person who has died. Prayers for them, their families, prayers for us, that the dreaded angel may spare us all.

Death, however, is uncaring and takes us all. In the end it took even Jesus. We, too, will one day become dust. Today at least, I have the cackling laughter of those children echoing in my ear and I take an odd comfort in knowing that even as the angel's scythe continues its work, the bees still pollinate, the squealing laughter of children flows down the streets like a needed healing, and the love of those who willingly give their lives for others continues, showing us what really has the final word.

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