Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏹️

Image from Hundreds of billions of locusts swarm in East Africa, BBC News, March 2020

That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.
Joel 1:4

The book of Joel is the most difficult book to date, as it contains no references to kings or other historical markers. The most common assumption is that Joel was writing around the time of Elijah & Elisha, which would make him the earliest writing prophet. He writes here of a great plague of locusts, which perhaps was a real event of the time, perhaps not, and no other evidence for such a plague seems to exist. Either way, as it is described in this verse the incident is a powerful metaphor for total destruction and devastation. The Hebrew words translated here as palerworm, cankerworm and caterpiller are translated differently in other versions, such as this in the NRSV: cutting locust, hopping locust and destroying locust. However the terms are rendered what we hear is devastation upon devastation until absolutely nothing can be left.

When things are going wrong for us, it sometimes feels like this, just one thing after another, catastrophe followed by disaster, and we wonder when or how it will end. Covid19 swarmed through the world's population, and just when we started to think it over, along comes the Delta variant.1 We are left reeling, and wondering what is next. When events are outside of our control, or even our imaginations life becomes quite terrifying. The occurrences of anxiety, depression, stress and other mental health problems are soaring, a whole different swarm of locusts, eating up our minds and our economy.

Judah survived this infestation, and we will survive too. But not without great casualty. When life is so beyond our ability to control it, all we can really do is wait it out. Nothing lasts forever, and this too shall pass.

1 28/08/2022: Since writing this, a year ago, we've had the rise of the Omicron variant, supposedly the most spreadable and vaccine-resistant form of Covid19 so far. Yet curiously most countries have ended lockdowns, mask-wearing and other restrictions. Almost overnight we seem to have forgotten about Covid19, to the point where a great denial has emerged. Read Pandemania parts 1-5 by Charles Eisenstein to understand the Covid19 aftermath a little better.
Update, 28/08/2023: In May this year I wrote down my own Covid-aftermath thoughts, which you can read here: Wake Up New.