A priest and performer considers religion, the arts, and the often thin space between sacred and secular, church and culture, pulpit and pew.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunday Evening: In the Wake of One More

At the end of this morning’s liturgy, I concluded our parish announcements by saying how weary I am of the daily and weekly reports of violence; how tired I am of each week adding the victims of yet another mass killing to the Prayers of the People – not because I don’t want to pray for them, of course, but because these terrible events dictate that I have to. We have to. But it all leaves me exhausted. And this week there have been so many: a playground in Chicago, the Washington Naval Yard, the shopping mall in Nairobi.

Then this afternoon came the news of the attack on All Saints’ Anglican Church in Peshawar. Scores are dead; many, many more are injured. Mass shootings by mentally disturbed or vengeful individuals may not be regarded in the same way as are terrorist attacks by extremists (of any variety) – the motives, and often the methods are very different. But the results are not different at all – lives extinguished, families and communities forever changed, loved ones left in shock and mourning, first responders strained to the limit, and a world once again struck by the horror of it all and perhaps, wondering how much more humanity can bear. Or, maybe, just numb. The unthinkable has become far too ordinary.
So I sit in front of the TV, switching back and forth among the Emmys (Glitz! Glamour! Awards for shows I’ve never seen!), Sunday Night Football (da Bears beating the “Stillers”!) and “Last Tango in Halifax” (it’s on PBS! And it’s got Derek Jacobi, for heaven’s sake!). What I feel isn't guilt; I'm just not quite comfortable in my – comfort.
Tucson, Toronto, Aurora, Newtown, Washington, Chicago, Nairobi, Peshawar….Kyrie eleison.


1 comment:

  1. The wear and tear on the caring human heart. If we're still bothered, we can keep fighting for change.But if we're still bothered, we also can't take the space we need to breathe and heal and re-charge to continue the struggle. Balance, my friend, balance.