The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
~Ezra Pound “In a Station of the Metro”
All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
But the word of the Lord endures forever.
We won’t be visiting Japan this spring as we have the past several years – we were there over Christmas to meet a new grandson and with the specter of coronavirus has dampened any desire to travel. There are millions of people there and here wondering how this new reality will impact their daily lives. It already has: the store shelves are bare of basic necessities as nervous families stockpile.
In the past, during our time in Tokyo, we are overwhelmed by the sea of faces — each man, woman and child with a place to go to work or school, a place to return home to, a bed to rest upon. Millions pass through the same place in one day and each person, each hair on their head, is cared for and counted by God.
Yet, we are like the transient flowers, reminded again by the emergence of a potentially lethal viral protein packet: we are mortal, each of us, in our clinging like petals to a wet bough – the word of the Lord, our Creator. Only then we become more than apparition. We bloom where God has planted us.
This year’s Lenten theme on Barnstorming:
God sees us as we are,
loves us as we are,
and accepts us as we are.
But by His grace,
He does not leave us where we are.