A brief companion to yesterday’s reflection on how a family must sometimes fight to preserve itself and maintain integrity. Families also don’t leave. They don’t stop when members do painful things. They love deeply, especially in the context of disagreement and disappointment. That is not acquiescence to wrong. It is the decision to love someone even if her opinion is wrong. It is the decision to love when you just can’t like. It is patient and kind, neither envying nor boasting. It is not arrogant, rude, irritable or resentful. It rejoices in truth, not wrongdoing. It does not insist on its own way. It bears, believes, hopes and endures and never ends. This is the love of a family in a fight and it is so damn hard.
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35
Even when you’re wrong family, I love you and will not leave.
I had intended to post on stewardship this morning and was thinking about the structure of the post and the planned alliteration before falling asleep last night. I awoke to the morning solitude, strong coffee, an open journal and the internet newspaper.
Again. Terror again. Violence directed at the unarmed and uninvolved. Violence without warning, without defense. Violence by those wanting to die – – a locally uncounterable strategy. And those who started a normal day weep. And those loved ones lost. And I just can’t write about stewardship or even the punchline – – time.
I grieve with you, those who suffer the sudden loss of love now fully recognized. I grieve with you, those in physical pain and mental shock in Paris hospitals. I grieve with you friends and families at the bedsides I have so frequently attended feeling – – helpless.
Dare I grieve for the misguided, angry and evil young men who convinced themselves that this was for God’s glory? Dare I grieve for the mothers of these men and wonder if this was their aspiration? Dare I grieve for those who hold their faith as preciously as I hold mine and see themselves disdainfully numbered amongst the criminally insane? I dare.
Dear God – – I know these few sentences will be a thin slice of what is aching in my heart. Please comfort the broken. Please heal the hurt. Please walk amongst us with compassion and join our suffering as you did in Jesus Christ. Please forgive these most despicable of our enemies and give us the courage to follow your lead. Thank you for being there and for caring when we hurt too much to breathe.