|The Plague Doctor circa 1650, Edinburgh (Carole Di Tosti)*|
Christ's hollowed out our souls so He can fill
The emptiness inside that needs His song
Of Grace and Peace and Joy to do His Will.
Throw down material treasures on this plane
Throw down the castled, gem-filled pleasure domes
Embrace Christ's spiritual Love? That must obtain
To take us through this hell to reach His throne.
We live for just a blink and then we pass
Into His realms then fuse within His plan
A greater purpose learned will not surpass
The glory if upon His truth we stand.
So quarantine your hearts to worship Him
In Beauty and in Faith new life begin.
*The photograph is of a tile I purchased last August in Edinburgh after a tour of the underground streets of the old city in the 1700s. Old Edinburgh suffered through the Bubonic Plague caused by the fleas on the rats. Those with money left the filth and the vermin. Others sheltered in quarantine and rode out the disease building up immunity. Others died and their bodies burned in a trench outside the town. The Plague Doctor visited and did what he could to aid his suffering patients. The gown is the equivalent of today's hazmat suit. The mask at the tip of the beak held herbs of lavender and rosemary which relaxed the nervous doctor and focused his breathing away from the molecules that if inhaled infected him with contagion. His presence, his prayers and his attempt to decompress and guide household members to not touch the victims went a long way to mitigate others from catching what only the patient's immune system could either conquer or succumb to. With Covid 19 we have a few more therapies than this and testing, and not much more. Then as is true now, the plague was daunting until humans built up an immunity and recovered from it, additionally learning to clean up their living spaces and kill the rats that brought the flea vector.