There are moments in all of our lives when we feel very unsafe.  Right now, these moments seem to be coming frequently.  There is a sense that we may not survive this – in multiple ways. Health, financial security, relationships, jobs or even sanity.  The stresses are enormous.  The isolation and loneliness don’t help.  I have no doubt that I am not the only one having days where hope is hard to recognize; days that I just feel down.  We are all floundering just a little bit.

And yet, we really are not alone.  I don’t recall anything else in my lifetime that so clearly defined us as a singular human species.  The challenges vary, some have been, and will be, hit much harder by this than others.  But, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find those on this planet that are not, or will not be, in some way negatively affected by this pandemic.  Clearly we have different access to solutions and resources, I acknowledge that, but this is really about all of us. I find some strange comfort in that.  Some idealistic notion that we might finally understand that the safety of all is far more valuable and strong than the safety of only a privileged few.  It is a lesson we’ve long needed to learn.

This made me think of a song that I’m sure many of us sang as kids, maybe at summer camp or in Sunday school, or wherever.  Complete with actions to remember the words, a simple message for the youngest to the oldest.  I suppose it was originally intended to explain, in an easy way, the greatness of God.  And, if that aligns with your beliefs, it does.  But in our current circumstance, I also think there is something to be said for understanding that we are literally holding each other’s safety in our hands.  The whole world’s.  And maybe this is why most of us are trying our best to follow the rules, to stem the spread of this thing that is blind to our usual distinctions.

He’s got the whole world in his hands,
She’s got the whole world in her hands,
He’s got the whole world in his hands,
She’s got the whole world in her hands.

She’s got you and me brother,
He’s got you and me, sister,
She’s got you and me brother,
He’s got the whole world in his hands.

He’s got the wind and rain,
She’s got the wind and rain,
He’s got the wind and rain,
She’s got the whole world in her hands.

She’s got the whole world in her hands,
He’s got the whole world in his hands,
She’s got the whole world in her hands,
He’s got the whole world in his hands.

I don’t know if we are safe.  I don’t know when we will be safe.  All I know is that we carry something of immeasurable value in our hands.  Through our careful action, our generosity, our knowledge, our support of those seeking and providing real solutions, our ability to put our excesses and staunch opinions aside, our choice to both share more and live with less, our willingness to offer kindness and beauty to those around … we will together carry the world.  The whole world.  Many, many hands are needed.  It is a daunting task.  We have countless opportunities and a vast range of gifts to offer.  We are all different, we are all of use.  From the very tiny to the grandest of gestures and effort.  I suspect a kind of safety will emerge from this wealth of humanity, or be lost in its absence.  I suspect much of this is our choice, and I hope our choices will reflect the very best of us.

We’ve got the whole world in our hands.