In Central Park in New York, I knelt on the stone artwork that pays tribute to John Lennon’s song Imagine. One line in that song asks us to imagine there are no religions in the world. Something with definite religious connections went up in Central Park yesterday, field hospital tents for COVID-19 overflow patients from Mount Sinai Hospital. The tents were donated by Samaritan’s Purse, a religious charity headed by Franklin Graham. Graham has made statements that the religion of Islam is wicked and evil and that Satan is the architect of same-sex marriage. The Samaritan Purse website makes their stand on same-sex marriage very clear. New York City Hall is not worried about the beliefs of Samaritan’s Purse. They say the field hospital will operate as part of Mount Sinai Hospital and will adhere to their discrimination policies. They claim what is most important is that the joint effort of Samaritan’s Purse and Mount Sinai Hospital will save New Yorkers’ lives. New York Senator Brad Hoylman has called on Franklin Graham to publicly promise that LGBTQ patients will not be discriminated against at the Samaritan’s Purse field hospital.
On CBS on Sunday morning Dr. Jon La Pook said it is vital to develop an antibody test that can confirm whether someone has already had COVID-19. He says a simple blood test can be developed to determine who has had the virus and is immune. These people could take the place of those on the front lines who still don’t have immunity and help us understand in which communities the virus may have largely run its course. Right now we are just testing to see if people HAVE the virus not whether they HAVE HAD it.
I thought about those words all day yesterday. “Right now it is like this.”
The mantra encourages us to be realistic. We need to acknowledge that what is happening right now is something we never would have expected, something we couldn’t have planned for, and something that has an unforeseeable future. We need to forgive ourselves if the fact that “Right now it is like this” makes us feel sad, or anxious or directionless.
But we must remember the phrase includes the words “right now” which implies that it won’t be like this forever.
I think in the coming days I will spend some time when I wake up each morning thinking and breathing and meditating on ……….
“Right now it is like this.”