Saturday, November 14, 2015

So much sorrow

The attacks in Paris. At sporting events. In a concert. In restaurants.
Senseless killings. Shooting. Horror. Terror.

So much sorrow.

Refugees flooding across borders.
Dying in transit. Losing one another on the way.
Former neighbors, colleagues, and friends joining in on the brutality.
No place to return to even if the violence stops.

So much sorrow.

A friend who is a flight attendant, to whom I had wished a safe trip,
responded correctly: "We aren't safe anywhere anymore, are we?"
She's right.

So much sorrow.

But -

Even though I know I won't be able to stop such attacks from happening,
even though I know I won't be able to stop people from hating each other,
or disrespecting each other,
or silencing each other,
or wanting to kill each other,
I will never let go of hope.
I will never let go of grace.
I will never let go of prayer
I will never stop praying for peace.
I will never stop praying for forgiveness.
I will never stop praying for change.
I will never stop finding ways to do something, to say something,
to speak and act and live in such a way that peace prevails in my immediate surroundings.

So much sorrow.

But I will never give up.

After telling his disciples about the love and presence and Spirit of God that would come to them, guide them, and keep them connected to himself, Jesus said this -
I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace.
In the world, you face persecution; 
But take courage - I have conquered the world.

There is persecution in this world - sometimes simply for being human and being alive.
There is trouble. There is so much sorrow.
But I refuse to bow down to despair, to fear, and to hatred.
Because my hope is in the Lord. Always will be.

In the meantime, my heart breaks.
I shake my head.
I am rendered nearly speechless. Nearly.
I am left with this:
"Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
And help us to have mercy on each other."

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