I read the news about Virginia Beach tonight. My heart is open to the wound of despair.
In the morning, I will attend an ordination for seven Deacons, commissioned and set aside particularly to bridge the grief of the world to the hope of the church; Christ’s one, holy, catholic church, in which we pray day by day,
thy kingdom come,
on earth as it is in heaven ,
and I am fairly sure that in heaven, there are no assault rifles, no workplace grievances resolved by the shedding of blood, no schoolroom lockdowns, no accidental shootings of toddlers, or by toddlers, some of whom do live in heaven.
I made one of them an orange stole. He asked for an orange stole, I believe, or at least I made it because of the grief that abides with us, day by day, as long as we resist the call of heaven to live in hope, instead of the threat, the fear, the vengeance of violence; our grievous tendency to enable, to create the occasion and the mechanism for sin.
In the morning, we will gather in joy, as some awaken, from that twilight of sleeplessness, to the unreality of a life flipped in a moment, at the speed of a bullet.
There is nothing wrong with our joy, with our prayers, nor even with our orange stoles, unless they make no difference to the gaping wound that continues to haemorrhage life from this nation, that siphons off hope and replaces it with weaponry.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.