Another rough day. Another terror attack. In our backyards, this time. Or at least, my old backyard. Maybe that's why it hit me so hard.
I was feeling (understandably) bleak this morning. Though I stayed away from most of social media, I did post about the shooting early on FB, and a pastor friend of mine, Rev. Katie Ladd, with whom I went to college (yes, we've been friends a very long time) commented back. In turn, I asked her for spiritual guidance, which she graciously gave. I asked if I could share it because it is so beautiful, and gave me a more than a small measure of peace. I hope it helps you this evening, too.
Sometimes feeling bleak, as difficult as it is, is the only thing to do in the face of overwhelming sorrow and heartbrokenness. The spiritual challenge is not to linger there too long. Mourn today - for those wounded, for those compelled to see violence as an answer for anything, for our country, for the already hard hearted and hateful sentiments springing up online. Mourn. Our country needs to pause and mourn for so much.
Here's the spiritually challenging part. And (or "then" - it's up to each of us is we can do this at the same time as mourning or if we need to wait) reach deep inside and reach out to community that serves as a reminder of the goodness in life. There is also that at work in our lives and in our world. I mean, look at us. We haven't seen each other in a long time. Our politics are pretty different. I still love you and value our connection. I give thanks to God for you. Love and community can exist in this world - in the midst of difference and distance, in the midst of mourning and brokenness, in the midst of it all.
And then work. Work for a better world.
The best resistance to the powers of violence, death, and despair is laughter. Evil is prepared to fight righteousness. It has no idea what to do with joy. So laugh along the way.
You already know all of this. I hope these little reminders don't come across as trite. Mostly I want to say that I understand why you would feel bleak. It is normal. And I care.
"Evil is prepared to fight righteousness. It has no idea what to do with joy."
These are words to live by.