Jim Furlong: Faith in a Wave and a Smile

In the wake of his passing, iconic Newfoundland artist Gerald Squires is remembered for his seminal work, Stations of the Cross.

I was going to try and write some ultimate COVID-19 story, but that situation is complicated and unfolding so quickly that instead I will share a quiet moment that I think has meaning. The Coronavirus is changing our world. We are all in it and we are all coping. There isn’t much choice really and there’s a long ways to go.  

Prayer of ‘thanks’

Tuesday morning I walked out to the road to get the newspaper. By habit I rise at 6:30. I put on the coffee and go 100 yards down the path to the road for the paper. Along the way I give thanks. It’s a nice quiet walk and I briefly pray. 

It’s always a prayer of “thanks,” an acknowledgment to that Force that moves the universe that He knows what He is doing and I am glad to be here. 

On a more practical level, I get an early look at the day; rain or shine. They all aren’t sunny, but they are all another day.

That morning was crisp and clear with the promise of later warmth. Now, like you, I have been wrestling in the sometimes lonely isolation of COVID-19. Except for an occasional drive to look at the Atlantic, wife and I are in lock down. It’s the only way to suppress a virus that threatens the entire world. In an odd way though there is a spiritual aspect to it. It has made the world seem ONE. 

The Coronavirus respects neither borders or languages. A friend says he has never felt more a part of planet Earth than as in the virus crisis. It is terrifying but has a unifying aspect.       

‘Be still & know’

When I got down to the road the Telegram was on the ground where it should be. The mailbox has been buried under five feet of snow since January so they just throw it in the driveway. 

Coming down the road that morning some 50 yards away was a  middle-aged woman. She was jogging. It was not yet 7 o’clock. She saw me and, as she approached, I raised my hand and quietly waved and smiled. She waved and smiled back at me, then she passed and was gone back to her world and I went back to mine. We didn’t speak but there was communication; an acknowledgment that we were both in a difficult situation and were both dealing with it.

“Be still and know” is the command from The Bible. It appears in Proverbs. It means, stay cool. So it is with us. We are all trying to cope. It isn’t easy. Have faith and trust that it will get better.

NTV’s Jim Furlong can be reached by emailing: [email protected]

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