“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
on them light has shined.”
| Isaiah 9.2, NRSV
Today, I am groping and groaning under the weight of hate. I grit my teeth. My bones ache. I rock and shake in the valley of the shadow of death. I cover my ears for fear of what I will hear next.
Not another eulogy. Lives turned prematurely to ashes leave my face in the dust. I lament.
On Saturday, five of my Jewish siblings were attacked in their rabbi’s home on the seventh night of the Hanukkah celebration in Monsey, New York. Focus on candles burning bright turns to five fingers wielding a machete. On Sunday, it is my Christian kin. Two members fatally shot during communion at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas. Christ’s body killed again, crucified afresh.
These are dark days. Anti- Semite and anti- Gentile, we hate everyone. I don’t trust my surroundings. I can’t trust the people around me. Open doors, open hands, I am fighting the temptation to close, to shut out, to shut down, to shut off all communication, all communion, to close off to every community.
I figure it’s going to be just “me against the world.” No.
Shadowy figures enter homes and houses of worship with dark deeds in mind. Their blood is on his hands and mine if I keep silent. Though I cannot find the words, I am feeling my way through this long night of despairing, of people not caring so long as it is “them” and not “us.” But this is to divide reality.
The truth is and has always been that we are all in this together. This is not a deep, dark secret but the truth we try to cover, shout down and shout over. But the time has passed and has come again now to pray together. Because we are having difficulty seeing each other. Lord, bring us to light. Amen.