A voice is heard in Ramah,    
mourning and great weeping, 
Rachel weeping for her children     
and refusing to be comforted,     
because they are no more.
~Jeremiah 31:15


I want to respond to a comment made by John in the previous blog (“To Drink from the River“). John shared:

“My heart is so heavy after the shooting at Temple Life synagogue yesterday. I weep for the lives lost and the place that our country is in. I am so so sad. How can we treat other human beings like this? Donna, the song you shared here is holding me up today. I still know in my gut that God is with us. Dear God break through our blindness so that we can see that you are also the God Jewish people, of Muslims, and of migrants. Be with us all now and transform our hearts.”

All day yesterday and today, tears come readily to my eyes; sobs seem just below the surface, ready to tumble out of my throat at any moment. I am shocked, sad, and frightened by the darkness, violence and hatred in the world – and also in this one person (and in many “one persons”) who can single-handedly wreak such terror and loss.

In yesterday’s news coverage, I noticed many public officials and newscasters deeply shaken, tears in their eyes, shocked by the horror. And we all cry — like Rachel — for the world’s children who have been slain and will be no more… and for those seriously injured in body, mind, and spirit. I pray for the families and loved ones of all those touched by yesterday’s violence. I pray for our world.

I think there is a time to refuse to be comforted too easily — and instead, allow our grief and anguish to have their place in our hearts, and express our outrage and distress.

And then to hope…

that somewhere, under the seemingly constant falling of our world, “Someone who’s hands/are infinitely calm” holds up all this falling. (see poem below)

I pray that I will be more aware of the places and ways I give harbor to feelings of fear, hatred, and judgement. And I pray that I will make a larger space for understanding, acceptance, and love.

May we gather together in our grief —  and in our hope and prayer for transformed hearts.



The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,
as if orchards were dying high in space.
Each leaf falls as if it were motioning “no.”

And tonight the heavy earth is falling
away from all other stars in the loneliness.

We’re all falling. This hand here is falling.
And look at the other one. It’s in them all.

And yet there is Someone, whose hands
infinitely calm, holding up all this falling. 

~Rainer Maria Rilke

9 thoughts on “Falling

  1. suedm

    Thank you, Donna, for the beautiful reflection at this unbelievable time.
    I spent a day sick with grief and sadness, then began to ,once again, (!!!) write my representatives to beg for gun restrictions , standing up to the power of the NRA, and to speak against violent rhetoric. Having done it many times, sadly, I hold less and less hope, but feel better taking some action, in addition to prayers for the steady hand described in the lovely poem. I am also working to help people get to vote as I believe it is the most important election of my lifetime.
    Forgive me if this is not the place for venting my anger and despair, nor for a political statement. However, I feel now, more than ever, that I must act and speak out, even if it is only one grandmother’s anguish. I have also recently committed to building a bridge with one person who sees things differently than I do and to try my best to understand that perspective, in the hope that friendship can heal us both.

    1. ghlstn Post author

      Sue, I am very touched by your comments here. I hear the cry of your spirit and also very understandable frustration. I support you in trying to find one place your grandmother’s broken heart can speak and act, and your efforts toward bridge-building and understanding. May you feel held by God in this very sad place.

    2. proverbsfpc

      Shooters are mentally ill. Yes, they are angry but the mental illness takes them to a dark place…& then the shootings happen. I understand the call for gun control, but like drug ‘control’ & laws, there will ALWAYS be ways for them to find weapons (like drugs) because there will ALWAYS dealers to to deal. To me, legislation hasn’t and won’t help. Hearts need to be changed. God,help us…

      1. ghlstn Post author

        This is such a heartbreaking and frustrating — and complicated — issue. Yes, God help us, as a nation, and individually, to keep our hearts open for the transforming power of God’s amazing grace and love.

  2. lindasblog2016

    Thank you, Donna, for this timely message to all of us. My heart weeps for all the people who are suffering from the acts of violence and racism this week.

    1. ghlstn Post author

      Linda, you’re very welcome. I sense a very deep and widespread weeping in our country and the world. I am praying that it will lead to more compassion for those who are suffering.

  3. lighthouse99

    When I think of “Falling” it reminds me of how sudden it comes……we never prepare to just Fall, we fall………………..
    These acts of violence and hatred are planned out in many cases. As if the falling is all calculated for some sinister reason. Whatever is falling down around us. Falling down within us.
    We can think of that beautiful poem of the golden leaves slowly falling to the earth……..as we do we can know for sure that it is all in the peaceful eye of God. He is sovereign and notes even when a sparrow falls, as scripture states. HIS ways are far above our ways;
    HE sees,
    HE knows,
    HE cares.
    I want to put on the “Mind of Christ” as best I can; in these horrible times; and know a God who is still in charge will be there! and able to keep us from falling out of our love and trust in HIM!

    Blessed assurance.

    1. ghlstn Post author

      Helene, your words:”falling down around us/falling down within us” touched me deeply. May you feel held in peace by the loving “hands” of God.


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