As humans I believe we live in a mosh of inconsistencies, incongruities, incompatibilities. We are born into them. They surround us always. We learn to cope with them. But they are most often manageable, often purely personal annoyances, small on the scale of life.
Today in Central New Jersey, in our small town of Metuchen, we are enveloped in the gentle images of early Spring: hyacinths and hellebores, daffodils and crocuses, redbuds and cherry blossoms dot lawns and gardens everywhere. Bright, exquisite, signs of such hope that uplift our spirits. Beyond that, our small conversations here center on properties being reclaimed for the common good, new large tracts being set aside as wildlife preserves…all so positive and optimistic.
Living today in our wired, media-drenched world, we are faced with words and images of horror, not from another age, not out of history books. But at this same moment that the hellebore stands before me in her delicate beauty, violent nightmares are taking place. Bombs are ripping through neighborhoods, neighborhoods with their own daffodils blooming; millions of ordinary people are fleeing for their lives; a whole civilization is being laid waste…while our crocuses spread color and we speak of preserving our land. This is antithetical on a grand scale.
The writer Kayla Craig, has written: “O God of peace…our brains can barely keep up with the breaking news…we don’t know the words to pray…we know that you are a God of peace and we cannot bomb our way to shalom…”
As humans, we are born to manage inconsistencies. But for me, this stretches my own ability to a breaking point…I, too, “don’t know what words to pray” and so sit in silent pleading to our God of peace.