Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I sat on the porch swing, reading Brene Brown, listening to crickets, seeing the fireflies light up around me, and smelling my neighbor's joint.  I put the book down, leaned back, swinging ever so gently, and closed my eyes.  I tried to turn my thoughts into coherent prayers.  All I could come up with is, 'Please show up.  Here.  In the tragedies.  In people's pain.  In me.'
And, in the days where all I read about is tragedies, and it's followed by everyone's memes about guns, and violence, and religions, and parents, I wonder how to be the person who stands on the side of love.  So I sit down and type something, hit post, and feel like it doesn't even come close to what I'm feeling.  The words are limiting.
Then, today, I wake up to another tragedy.  It plagues me all day long.  It ends with a family that will have to prepare a funeral for a little boy not much older than my own.  And, already the judgments start.  There are conversations about the parents,  and choices, and how much better we all are because nothing like that could ever happen to us.
I want to scream.  'BULL SHIT!'  Instead, I decide to rock my son before bed.  I cover him in kisses, and probably a few of my tears.  I lay him down, and watch him rubbing the tag of his blanket as his eyes droop.  And, I think of that other mom. 

I have decided that in tragedies, I'm going to take my example from Job's friends in chapter two.  They came, they sat, and they quietly grieved with him.  It was a beautiful thing.  They were literally just there.  When they started talking, offering their suggestions, telling him what he should be doing, that's when things started going poorly.  But, when they were there, it was beautiful.
I can't get to Orlando tonight to be with that mother.  Or the other mothers and fathers there preparing for funerals.  I can't go to the hospitals to be with the victims.  I'm not even sure how to be with some of the people who live in my city and are experiencing tragedies. 
But, I want to figure this out.  I want to put on my sackcloth, sit down, and just be there.  I want to mourn with all those who are mourning.  And, there are a lot right now.  Even if they'll never know some lady hundreds of miles away is sitting in her house, quietly joining in the mourning, I want to do this. 
Tonight, I will light a candle, and I will sit.  My one small flame may not make much difference.  But, then again, maybe some others will read this and choose to join me. Light a candle.  Sit.  Mourn.                                                                                                            

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