Archive - Apr 12, 2017

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Tenebrae

Stay here, remain here with me, watch and pray.

That feeling when… your coworker comes to talk about a project that she is working with on and you can see that she is struggling with something much greater and you ask her what is going on and she talks about an eighteen month old cousin that unexpectedly stopped breathing. That feeling when… you get a message from your coworker the moment you sit down to your computer asking if she can come over to talk about the project and you know it isn’t about the project, but the cousin has died.

Stay here, remain here with me, watch and pray.

That feeling when… you read the stories in social media about the old Asian doctor, trying to get home and the airline, trying to get seats for its employees, calls in the police to remove the man who does not want to give up his seat. You see his bloodied face on video after video. You read the statement from the CEO about the customer being re-accommodated. It is Holy Week, and you think of the re-accommodation of Christ.

Stay here, remain here with me, watch and pray.

That feeling when… you hear of another shooting in another school, when you hear of a history of domestic violence and weapons violations, and you hear that the eight year old child who got caught in the gun fire, died.

Stay here, remain here with me, watch and pray.

That feeling during Passover when… the White House Press Secretary, trying to defend the missile attacks against Syria, compares the leader of Syria to Hitler saying that even Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons against his own people, and when asked to clarify the remarks talks about “holocaust centers”.

I hold all these things in my heart as I walk to the community room in the health center. In a few minutes, I will be the Easter Bunny for many kids coming to our spring celebration. I look at the traffic outside and am told that someone jumped off the Arrigoni Bridge.

I need to bring a little Easter joy to the children of the community, but I still feel mired in the anticipatory grief of Holy Week.

Stay here, remain here with me, watch and pray.

There are many reactions that small children have on seeing the Easter bunny. I hold out my arms, and some rush to me. Other’s hide behind their parents. Here is a symbol of joy, of happiness, of something too good to be true, and we are distrustful. We know that something that seems too good to be true probably isn’t really good or true. We hold back. I wonder how much we do that in our personal lives, our emotional lives, our spiritual lives, perhaps even as we approach the Eucharist.

What is it that we are really looking for? To be loved. To be told, it’s okay. It will be okay. To be allowed to be scared, hurt, frightened, or sad, and yet still loved. We long to have our creation in the image of God acknowledged, and not become just another number, another consumer, another entity from which others try to extract wealth. We long to hear truth, but that is not the way of the world.

Instead, we are objects, to be re-accommodated for other’s profits. Even if we offer to serve, our institutions seek to turn our offer into a transaction. So after all the bad news. After holding this while sharing joy with little children, I head off to church, sit quietly, and pray.

Stay here, remain here with me, watch and pray.

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