A Hard Rain
It's been a season of hurting these past several months. I have been worn down by it. I am weary. My soul is weary. My heart hurts. My heart hurts for those who have been lost to storms, earthquakes, and to violence in our streets.
My heart hurts that we have come to a place in our shared history where a mass shooting almost immediately devolves into a collective political and ideological debate rather than a collective wail of lament.
And for some reason today I can't get the snippet from that old Dylan song out of my head: And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard/And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.
I was reading from Brene Brown's excellent new book Braving the Wilderness today and I came across this quote that sums up how I feel today:
"The world feels high lonesome and heartbroken to me right now. We've sorted ourselves into factions based on our politics and ideology. We've turned away from one another and toward blame and rage. We're lonely and untethered. And scared."In our haste to place blame, to prove that we are right and to win the day for our side--we've lost sight of one of the most fundamental aspects of what it means to be truly human. We are our brother's keeper.
Jesus wasn't kidding when he said that the command to "love your neighbor as yourself" was the "greatest" commandment along with "love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength."
What Jesus meant was that by actually loving others---you show your love for God. Just saying that you love God doesn't cut it. Keeping a bunch of rules and regulations, but then not loving others doesn't cut it either.
The Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius once wrote, "That which isn't good for the hive, isn't good for the bee."
It's good for all of us, sister and brothers, to let the unwavering, unconditional, never-failing, open, welcoming and sacrificial love of God be our guiding light.
May you be a peacemaker, a love-bringer, a light-shiner and a vessel of pure hope and joy to the world today and every day. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.