Tuesday, April 23, 2013

This Is a Day of New Beginnings

the past week has been a difficult one.  there were killings and injuries in boston that seem senseless.  there was the tragedy of the plant explosion in texas.  on a personal level, our precious dog is gravely ill.  today one of our ministers spoke of the stories of resurrections in the bible, and, especially, in the new testament.  she reminded us that in the midst of death, life continues.

as i thought about the events in boston, i focused on the suffering of so many.  those who lost loved ones suffer, those who were wounded by the bombing suffer, the family of the young men who committed these horrible deeds suffer, and the young men themselves suffer.  it is easy to think about revenge and the justice of the death of one bomber and the injuries to the remaining bomber.  “didn’t they get what they deserved for such a horrific crime?” we think.  “how dare the parents claim that their sons were framed when the evidence is clearly to the contrary!” our aggrieved minds assert.

does it do any good for us to focus on these negative emotions?  i think of how i would react if my child had been discovered to be a terrorist.  wouldn’t i want to believe that it’s a terrible mistake?  i think, too, of the deep hatred that must be destroying the hearts of the two young men who did such despicable acts and wonder if there isn’t the possibility of ultimate redemption for them—for one in a future life and for the still-living brother in this life.

i think of the anger that many in west, texas, must be feeling about their losses—anger at the possible negligence of the owners of the plant, anger at the injustice of having their lives destroyed by a random accident, anger at a God who would permit such a tragedy.  i wonder if those who are suffering there can see past the anger to a future that renounces anger in favor of appreciating the good that is in each moment.  how easy that is for one who hasn’t experienced this tragedy to say.

i think of the suffering of our little dog who was discovered to be in great pain just hours after running happily through the house seeking someone to toss his bone or pat his head.  does this little creature who is so loving deserve this?  certainly not, yet the reality of life is that he hurts, nonetheless.  if i must give him up to end his suffering, how do i cope with suffering his loss?  i remember that an innocent creature who epitomizes perfection will not be gone, but transformed, and, because he is so perfect, his transformation will be to something more wonderful than his current form.

life is change, and life is filled with suffering.  yet life is also filled with great moments to be enjoyed, moments that will also be gone all too soon.  my prayer is that in the midst of suffering we will rejoice in all that is good, that we will let go of transitory attachments and relish the underlying happiness that is at the heart of existence.  shalom.

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