Sunday, December 15, 2013

Published 4:32 PM by with 0 comment

December Projects Day #15

Prompt for day #15: late afternoon light

As the sun begins to set, the early darkness wears on me sometimes. Normally a positive person, winter's long hours of night make it a little more difficult to keep my thoughts cheerful. My mind drifts to sadness: a family far away who are in the process of helplessly watching their very young daughter die from cancer, a baby in our church who broke her leg last week, an old friend whose beloved dog just died, a student's seven year old brother who may lose his eye after a horrible accident, an elderly friend who is becoming more frail every day.

And yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the Newtown school shooting. All those beautiful children gone. The nation remembered, but what about next year? The year after that? Ten years from now? While our news feeds have moved on to cover more recent tragedies, those families in Newtown will still be missing the bright smiles of their children who never got to grow up. I look at my own child giggling as she plays and my eyes fill with tears.

It would be easy to push sorrow aside when it doesn't directly affect us. Yet we are told to mourn with those who mourn. It would be easy to wallow in sadness, letting the waves of trouble break our wills and bury happiness. But that isn't the answer either. Yes, grief may come for a night, but thanks be to God, we are told that this isn't the end of the story:

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have lifted me up,
and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning...
O Lord, by your favor you have made my mountain to stand strong.

Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me;
O Lord, be my helper.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
that my soul may sing praise to you and not be silent.
O Lord, my God, I will give thanks to you forever.*

Twenty-six Bells for Newtown

*Passage heard today in church from Psalm 30. For a tribute to Newtown and a call to choose love instead of fear, please read this letter.