December 17, 2020
An anonymously-written poem first appeared in a Canadian senior community(!) newspaper back in 1994. Advice columnist Ann Landers then introduced it to a worldwide audience. A quarter of a century later, as we all are being affected by the threat of a debilitating virus, we can confront our fears by reflecting on the poem’s encouraging truths.
The original title is “What Cancer Cannot Do”. Replacing “Cancer” with “Covid”, remember:
Covid cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot destroy peace.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot suppress memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot steal eternal life.
It cannot conquer the spirit.
Especially during this season when sunsets come early and we’re encouraged to seek the light in the darkness, let the Holy Scriptures enlighten your Spirit. Remember that:
Covid cannot cripple love. You are loved.
“…neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans: 38-39)
Covid cannot shatter hope. There is reason to hope.
“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Covid cannot corrode faith. Put your Trust in a Faithful God.
“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” (Deuteronomy 7:9)
Covid cannot destroy peace. Seek Peace within your heart.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Covid cannot kill friendship. Know a Friendship with God.
“The Lord your God, who goes before you…The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Deut 1:30 & Exodus 14:14)
Covid cannot suppress memories.
Engage in your cherished memories.
“The memory of the righteous is a blessing.” (Proverbs 10:7)
Covid cannot silence courage. Be encouraged for the future.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Covid cannot invade the soul.
Seek relationship with God through your Soul.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)
Covid cannot steal eternal life. Know there is Eternal Life.
“..the Son of Man will be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:14-16)
Covid cannot conquer the spirit.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Covid may physically separate us, but you are never alone;
God is with you always.
“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
— The Rev. Lisa Rotchford, Pastor of Redeemer Lutheran, Seal Beach, CA