and God weeps…
we weep, too.
even the garden this morning is wet with tears.
but the dawn came. and the wren still sings.
and, soon, once i brace myself, i will begin again to watch the news. all night, i worried. you can forget, in the crevices of night, how dark it is. but then, when dawn’s light begins to trickle in, when you begin to stir, and thoughts pick up at the end of the ellipses where you left them, you begin to shudder once again. you can’t quite catch your breath.
the world, you fear, is a whirling cauldron of hatred. you wanted to believe this globe has seen the worst. but you are wise enough to know that you’re a fool to hold such cockamamie notions.
we have jobs to do, each one of us. each one who holds a candle, holds a flame, we cannot let the light go out. can’t let love — and hope — and all those things we pray for, we cannot let them extinguish. we cannot be witness to the last burning ember.
late last night, just before we toddled off to sleep, we heard the latest horrors. snipers in dallas. policemen dead. a peaceful protest shattered. dealey plaza. parkland memorial hospital. the echoes of history swept across the screen. i remember being little, very little, watching scenes from dallas play across another screen. it scared me then. it scares me now. then, i had a papa whose big broad chest harbored me. back then, someone tucked me into bed. told me to say my prayers.
last night, after hours staring at the screen, when at last i drifted off to sleep, the man i love held my hand. the last words i heard before the silence drew me under were the ones he whispered in his prayer: “this world needs your light.”
i’d been soaked in sadness all day long, long before the horror from dallas poured across my screen. the news these days is non-stop reel of horrors. we are privy now to a broad swath of unspeakable sorrows. in one single frame of daylight, we watched men die — bleed to death and moan right before our eyes. and before that i’d been reading of rallies where hateful words are spewed. “hang the bitch.” “kill the bitch.” words so vile i can’t even bring myself to type them. such is the language that flows inside what’s framed as political rally. sounds like halls of hate to me. sounds like someone’s tapped into something redolent of sin, the last thread of civility has been snapped. and all hell is breaking loose. is oozing out, the great metastasis of evil.
and then, news of rooftop snipers. officers down. sirens wail. over and over, we hear the cacophony of rapid-fire weaponry. “something of a national emergency,” the tv anchor told us as the clock struck midnight. “civil war,” the headlines shout this morning (i just peeked).
so, we can follow our first instinct: run and hide, cower in the corner.
but then we might consider a second impulse: get up, and brace ourselves. imagine we’re the front line in a pacifist campaign to not let the evil win. because the truth is, we are the front line. each and every one of us. we’re the ones who hold the flame, who keep it burning. who decide in each and every interaction that we’re not giving in. we’re not spewing one syllable of hate. and — here’s a hard one — we’re not backing away when we’re witness to what’s ugly.
we arm ourselves with the same old equation of love that’s ever been. the one espoused by every holy pilgrim everywhere. flame by flame, we gather light. we counter the narrative of hate by stockpiling ones of love, of courage in the face of assault. we enlist a company of kindred spirits. we embolden each other to not give up. do not surrender.
just this morning, i’m meeting a friend whose lifework is literally curing cancer. she spends her days bent over a laboratory station, keeping watch on chemical equations that fuel pharmaceutical weaponry that just might belittle cancer. there is reason for hope from her lab, she tells me, though it’s not yet clear whether it’s breast or ovarian cancer that will most certainly run into the wall they’re erecting. either one is fine by me.
that’s how i begin my emboldening, that’s how i don’t give up. i gather saints, one by one. i gather stories, deep breathe their notes of courage. i witness tenderness. i try mightily to embody any wisp of it. i pray. i watch. i weep. i dry my tears, dry the tears of those i love. and then i get to work.
the God i love is weeping. i woke up to a world drenched in all God’s tears.
how will you keep the flame burning, even in the darkness?
Texas wanted guns. They got ’em. People think trump’s message isn’t one of hate…listen again. I’m sad. I’m bereft. I am one pissed off broad. We all want health, food, clothes on our back and a place to sleep. Look different? Believe different? Worship different? Who cares. Do not lie or cheat. Treat folks with respect and kindness. The rest is a gift.
Andrea Lavin Solow Sent from my iPad
and the gift demands our tender loving attention.
Writing through tears, I can’t agree more: “this world needs your light.” The world’s troubles seem insurmountable. And there you are supporting us all and reminding us not to stop trying, even when we fail over and over. Thank you. Love you.
sweetie, pretty sure when those words were spoken it was God’s light for which he prayed. but it might mean the universal “you,” as in all of us. you are the light leading me this morning, my beautiful cancer-fighting friend.
and not only for the holy work you do inside the lab, but for all the gentle tenderness you exude day in and day out, hour after hour. you have taken my breath away since i first beheld you. you are one of the ones i hold against my heart when i need to breathe in faith and hope and love….
You have said it all so well – the world’s behavior wants to make me weep. Hope all is well in your corner of the world – a squeeze for all of you. Laurie >
my corner is okay. hope yours is safe and sound. squeezes back to you from all of us, especially a curly-haired wonder fellow. xoxox
The world needs your light and our light. You light a candle with words and pictures and I light mine from yours and someone lights her/his candle from mine and so it goes until the world is aflame with love and compassion. This morning I reminded myself that my resolution this year was to “just show up”. I am human, flawed as the next person. I will weep for myself and others and then be present to listen and love. I was thinking of ME up in her beautiful eirie, just embracing every moment of living…every painful, glorious, despairing and hopeful moment. She has been one of my spiritual lights these days. She taught me that we can do this in our very messy crazy world. So light the candle, pray for those suffering and “just show up” and work to be “just” in every word and action throughout the day.
and so goes the kindling of light to light to light. it’s the surest path i know. it’s imbued with such humility — the smallness of the offering of our light. but when we think of it as kindling for the next and maybe the next, then it’s not so futile. i, too, have been thinking of ME and ceci, both of them have escaped this. both of them are lights that guide me in all the hours of darkness……sending love, lamcal. xoxox
The world is a sad place.I’m sad for the hatred, even more sad because my grand children will inherit our world. I try to spread love, optimism, joy, in every interaction. Abolish negative speech and put a positive spin on as much as you can. I know it sounds like Pollyanna, but eventually love will win! Or so I hope.
it’s all we can do, dear jack. be the most emphatic, true-spoken beacon we can be. and join arms with kindred hearts. which is why we huddle here. or why i do anyway. xoxoxo
I so needed to read this today. I have not been feeling very brave today. For so many reasons. But, I’m going to try and find my courage again. Thank you. xo
sweet angel, sometimes i think when we say out loud that we are scared, it begins to riddle the darkness. i know that knowing we are all here helps me. i write and hope and pray that someone says, “a droplet of light filtered in….” we begin with just a droplet. and if we all add our drops….suddenly the chalice is filling….
Because I couldn’t bear to click on the news first thing this morning, I came to your site instead. A place of true peace and light. It made a huge difference in the day.
bless you mary. bless you for circling round to say this quiet circle made a difference today. i love the gentle hearts who come here…..
A beautiful piece about an unfathomable event. Thanks for taking this on.
thanks, darlin. i always love to find you here. xox
This is indeed a rallying cry…
“That’s how i begin my emboldening, that’s how i don’t give up. i gather saints, one by one. i pray. i watch. i weep. i dry my tears, dry the tears of those i love. and then i get to work.
the God i love is weeping. i woke up to a world drenched in all God’s tears.
how will you keep the flame burning, even in the darkness?”
Barbie, writing this supports us to to “do” your closing line. Thank you!
it’s in the gathering of saints that i find my deepest courage. i know you, too, are always on the lookout.
so, so true. And many saints, living and in heaven to call upon.
Dearest Barb, After reading and listening to the news all day, I found your beautiful writing just as I am ready to retire for the day. Your words are reassuring in this mad world of hatred and killing. Thank you for what you have shared with us today. May we continue to keep the flame burning for all humanity. Hugs, Elaine
dear elaine, what a blessing that the cyber world has drawn us back into each other’s orbit. this is a quiet sacred space we’ve carved out, a harbor from what breaks us down, and a place to find our breath so we can begin again to infuse the world with the tender, fierce attentions that it so deeply needs. i am so glad to find you here. xox
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