A few days ago I lost a dear friend due to Covid-19, my aunt’s mother and who was friends with my family. I got paralyzed by fear and grief, crying right where I was, trying to figure out why, like a million people have been doing all this time. A man told me that he was asking himself many the very same thing yesterday: “Where is God? Where is the mercy? Why is He letting this happen?” When grief strikes, where are the Gods? Two days ago, a twin suicide bombings in central Baghdad killed 32 people, and he asked the same questions then.
I’m very cautious when it comes to my spirituality if I know someone will not understand, so I didn’t tell him I’m a Pagan Witch, not because I’m ashamed or afraid, but because it would lead to a never-ending discussion he would never understand. Instead, I simply told him then that “there’s a phrase that I hate but that it’s true: sometimes God works in mysterious ways; sometimes He has a plan.” He asked what plan could involve letting so many people die, and I told him that “who are we mortals to understand Him?”
Now I think “We are His/Their children”. A child has all the right to question their parents, to ask for reasons, to understand, to know why. As I thought about it, conscious that we have a limit to what we can know, I remember one of the colors in the Druze star, the faith of my family. In it, each point has a color, each color with a meaning. White is for al-tali, which could be translated as effect, future, realization, word, will, immanence, and so on.
As a spiritual healer and reiki master, I was always told that white represents the highest energies, the higher powers, ascended masters, guides, and similar things. White is the color of purity, humility, sincerity, and clarity, but also of emptiness, or even void, I would say. A void where there is no answer, where the future is unclear, where words are not fully understood. White is the world when we don’t understand, but the Gods do.
When each of us looks back in time, I’m sure nobody thought we would be living this kind of reality that seems to be taken out of a dystopian story. We all thought we were better than this, I thought we were better than this, but I saw over and over again in the social media and news that people didn’t pay any attention to the restrictions, social distance, using a mask, and basically decided to carry on with their lives as if nothing is happening. I also knew from friends and acquaintances that some hospitals could be falsifying the number of deaths they get by Covid-19.
We were taught in my family that every action provokes a reaction, cause leads to effect. If people don’t listen, they will pay the consequences, and there will always be an innocent life caught in between. As long as people don’t think about more than their own needs and wishes, there will always be losses, death, death, and grief. Selfishness will lead to nothing but that. As I write this, I get my answer. Where is the mercy? Is there for those who are humble, selfless, helpful, conscious, considerate, and worthy.
Does this mean we deserve this plague? Each family is a unique case, each case is different, so I cannot speak about this friend we lost. She didn’t take any caution when she was young, she didn’t pay attention to her health problems as they appeared one after the other until no doctor and no amount of money could save her. Did she deserve her death to be due to Covid-19? I’m in no place to say yes or no, but I can say her body got tired and had no more strength to fight.
Does this mean that Iraqi people do not deserve mercy? Far from it. It means something is wrong in their country, that something needs to change, things are not working as they should in there, but being a foreign is not my place either to say what is wrong or right, much less when speaking about a country I have never visited. Due to respect, it is a matter that only Iraqi people can talk about because it is their country, their land, their life, their experience, and they know how life is like in there better than anyone.
So, where does that leave us? With two paths to take: we can either try to understand the full picture, all the details, and events, try to go overseas and analyze it all, or focus on our situation, our immediate surroundings, and find the answer we can. It doesn’t make sense to me to try to understand the big matters without knowing the small ones, like my mother always tells me: “go from micro to macro, from the small things to the big ones”.
My family has been well, and I pray for them to stay well, healthy, and safe. Does it mean that my family has been chosen among the others? Not even close. We’ve been lucky, blessed, but always cautious, always taking care that our elders are safe, always attentive, with eyes everywhere to keep them safe and sound. I pray for them every day, and I’m not the only one doing it.
The only grandmother I have left, the matriarch of the family, has delicate health, hasn’t been the most responsible all the time, and always puts her children and grandchildren before her well-being. She’s as noble as that, as loving like that, but her body is getting tired, and we all know it, even her, so we take all the measures to keep her away from any risk. Every action has a reaction, every cause leads to an effect, and while the future is never a clear answer, it is what we make of it. White can be grief, death, mourning, mystery, and the void, but it can also be hope, healing, protection, and wisdom.