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.
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