Nothing (read not even the coronavirus pandemic) will separate me from the love of Christ.

The words of Paul. A hymn. An affirmation. A credo. Nothing at all, neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39.

Right now, under the barrage of overwhelming media coverage of the pandemic, you probably feel that nothing could separate you from COVID-19. Not government pronouncements, hand sanitizer and disinfectant, stockpiles of toilet paper rolls, not even prayer could free us from the inexorable march through the world of this pandemic. Mounting fear leads to panic. We do things that in life under normal circumstances we are sure we wouldn’t do.

Julian of Norwich offers another way of understanding Paul’s sentiment. Julian of Norwich, known for her Revelations of Divine Love, was an English anchorite and mystic. Her 16 “showings” are related to the passion of Jesus Christ. She lived in the fourteenth century.

Julian was no stranger to suffering, which she saw as a channel through which God could draw us closer to himself. The line most popularly quoted from her writings is this: “All shall be well, all shall be well, every manner of thing shall be well.” Julian could believe that all would be well, because divine providence brings good even from sin, even from evil, even from disaster. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ!