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God’s there in the minutes

Minutes with coffee

Rev. Dr. Margie Crawford dedicates a song — 525, 600 Minutes — as a tribute to all who have lost family and friends to the coronavirus.


Superintendent, Midwest District

Recently, I watched a special broadcast on CNN, which was a tribute to the people who have lost their lives to COVID. The program was only an hour long. Prayers were offered by Archbishop Wilton Gregory and Rabbi Anne Brener during the segment I watched. Family members shared stories of someone they lost to the virus. Two daughters spoke about how full of life their parents were. Brad Paisley shared how Charley Pride was an inspiration for his own music career. Nurses, doctors, teachers, and pastors were lifted up. CNN has also created a page honoring those who have died. Each time you visit it, the site is updated, and stories of different people are displayed.

What moved me most about the piece is the number of COVID deaths our nation has reached.  Half a million is far too many, and the number continues to climb. I don’t believe it’s a milestone that anyone contemplated in the early weeks of the pandemic. And though the number of those infected has slowed dramatically, there are still too many people who will not survive this virus. 

I am reminded of the opening song from the musical Rent. The show made its Broadway debut in 1996. It is an adaptation of Puccini’s opera, La Boheme. Instead of dealing with poverty and tuberculosis in 19th century France, the main characters in the musical are living in New York City’s East Village during the AIDs epidemic. The opening song is 525,600 Minutes. The lyrics ask us how do we measure a year in a life? How do we spend those minutes, and how do we treasure what unfolds during that time?

One of the topics discussed during the CNN broadcast was how many families are struggling with their grief. Many have been unable to have funerals or other gatherings to celebrate the life of a loved one. Some family members spoke of the pain caused by not being with their loved ones as they passed because they were not permitted in the hospital to say goodbye. Sharing the stories of those they missed brought a sense of joy and peace to those who spoke.

The wounds created by what we are experiencing as we journey through this pandemic may always be tender. We are not alone and have never been alone. God is with us in all ways. 

I offer this song — 525,600 Minutes — as a tribute to the family and friends of those who lost their lives to this virus. The song calls us to celebrate a year in life with seasons of love. I ask that we lift up the names of those we have lost over the past year, honoring the people they were and the ways they made our lives richer and fuller.

May the Lord continue to journey with us through these times.  And Amen.

~ Reprinted from Puzzler’s Corner, Midwest District News.

The Michigan Conference