With the death and fear of COVID-19; with a shattered national economy; with yesteryear’s president still blocking the pathway for next year’s president - we certainly do have and are in a time of troubled waters.
There was a song from not so long ago, just a half century or so. It was “Bridge over Troubled Water." It was Simon and Garfunkel’s signature song, their defining song of the 1970s.
Simon, the writer, was motivated by the times then, when their world seemed crumbling before them. He was motivated by the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. He was motivated by the general anti-Vietnam feelings of youth across the nation, by the violence of Kent State, the outbursts on the streets of Chicago and Los Angeles, and the continued presence of Nixon in the White House.
Simon says the early verses came easily. The words "when you’re weary," "when evening falls so hard," and "when you’re down and out," flowed together with “ I will comfort you” and “I will ease your mind."
Simon wanted more length and substance, and mulled and puzzled over adding more. Then he stumbled across a gospel song, and Simon says he stole/borrowed verbatim, “I’ll be your bridge over deep water, if you trust in my name."
We need that “bridge” now.
God has carried us through past dilemmas, with substantial threats and loss of lives, and serious deprivation of the very necessities of life - such as the Civil War, the two World Wars and the Great Depression. World War II was probably the greatest threat to our continued existence as a free nation. Germany, Japan and Italy combined their efforts to bring about our demise, along with the rest of the then free world.
Our Americans and Allies followed that bridge over the troubled waters in the 1940s and brought our countries to victories in 1945.
The bridge is there for us again in 2021. How do we walk the bridge? Do we do it with care? And cautiously? Do we in Echoland mask, distance and stay home as much as we can?
Or do we ignore? Jump? Wander underneath the bridge? Do we jeopardize ourselves and all those around us?
If we do the latter, we force - or cause - rescue workers, responders, doctors and nurses to provide care necessitated by our own foolishness and selfishness. That close contact in turn threatens death and illness upon our caring professionals and their loved ones.
It’s up to us. We are all tired of the COVID fear and uncertainty, and restrictions throughout the past 10 months.
But, most of us who don’t have too much at stake ought to be able to handle some inconvenience for a few more months.
It was a lot longer walk from Egypt.