(A poem to remember the 100,000 people in the UK* who have died from COVID and for all of us who still live in the darkness of its shadow)

‘The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.’ (John 1:5)

Light a candle for the thousands,
One hundred thousand* now who've died,
A number we know is still growing,
Lord, Lord, we need you by our side. 
And so we light this little candle,
Small, wavering, fragile in this long dark night,
For we must not, cannot, will not,
Let the darkness win this fight: 
 
The fight for those who have lost loved ones 
to COVID's merciless rampage,
Their fight for peace and strength and comfort, 
some betterness for grief's pain and rage,
For them we light this little candle,
Trusting with all our heart and might
That, though the darkness is deep and deeper,
It will not, not ever, overcome Your light. 
 
The fight for those now sick or dying,
And those who can only stand and stare,
Counting as gold each time of sharing,
Aching in those times they can’t be there. 
For them we light this little candle,
Trusting with all our heart and might
That, though the darkness is deep and deeper
It will not, not ever, overcome Your light. 
 
The fight against the separation
That drains our spirit, numbs our soul,
That steals from us life's bare essentials:
A hug, a kiss, a hand to hold.
And so we light this little candle,
Trusting with all our heart and might
That though the darkness is deep and deeper
It will not, not ever, overcome Your light. 

Fight for those who are tired and trauchled,
Too many extra things to do,
Tasks beyond them, the plates are crashing,
Comfort zones out of the window, too.
For them we light this little candle,
Trusting with all our heart and might
That though the darkness is deep and deeper
It will not, not ever, overcome Your light. 

Fight for the rest - the worried, frightened, lonely, 
Those not knowing how or if the bills will be paid
Those whose future’s written only in questions
Life changed forever, and what can be said? 
For them we light this little candle,
Trusting with all our heart and might
That, though the darkness is deep and deeper
It will not, not ever, overcome Your light. 

The fight for wisdom, understanding,
Progress in science, medicine, care,
Craft for us, Lord, the best of weapons,
For a victory the whole world can share.
And so we light this little candle,
Trusting with all our heart and might
That, though the darkness is deep and deeper
It will not, not ever, overcome Your light. 

There are some fights we don't need, Lord,
Fights for profit, fame, privilege, advantage, power,
Fights between, among each other,
The time to stop all that - is now. 
So we light this little candle,
Trusting with all our heart and might
That, though the darkness is deep and deeper
It will not, not ever, overcome Your light. 

Fight for the fighters, the light-bearers, 
Help-bringers, laugh-makers, and those who pray,
Encouragers, phoners, zoomers, facebookers,
Virtual shoulders to cry on or brighten the day 
For them, too, we light this little candle,
Trusting with all our heart and might
That though the darkness is deep and deeper
It will not, not ever, overcome Your light.

So, Lord, we light this little candle,
Fluttering, fragile, but lit in earnest prayer,
My child, I have heard you, keep on trusting, fighting, praying,
For, no matter the darkness, My Light will be there.
 

 * The UK death toll from the Coronavirus officially passed 100,000, on 26 January, 2021
 
 Helen Cuthbert © 2021 [published with permission of author]

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