We cower in our homes, isolating and waiting.  When shall our redeemer arrive?  The darkness envelopes us and we hope against hope. Too many of God’s people have suffered and died. Our future is not promised.

Then we hear of a vaccine. Whispers go from lips to lips, around the village, through the State, beyond the borders across the world.  The vaccine is the baby in the manger, wrapped in its swaddling of dry ice. The shepherds have kept watch, those nurses and doctors monitoring every breath of the lambs who struggle to live.  The groans from the patients lying in fear are reminiscent of the lowing of cattle in the shed as mother cow calls for her calf.  The camels are fatigued. They’ve been a long time in the desert. We must wait. Wise men are coming from afar, harbingers of relief.  Through tears of release, we watch the stars and await three vaccines from the East.

Christmas will dissipate this year.  The family shall not gather. A banquet shall not be spread.  No Figgie pudding shall be admired. We dine separately.  Shopping online has escalated so that the virus cannot. Gifts will be delivered to a porch or hung on a doorknob. No Santa is entering the home. The Grinch is in charge of 2020. Our friends will not clink glasses to toast a new year. Not yet.

Are we convinced it can end? Like those who experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, we have flashbacks. Tears come easily, fear touches a bare foot to the icy floor, and anger quickly blazes. Fury flares in our reptilian brains. Craziness lingers in the streets.

I cry for my mother. I plead to the angels. I howl to Gabriel. How many more dark nights and months must we endure?

“Listen,” the angels whisper. “Fear not.  Emmanuel shall come.”

— Special to the Telegram


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