Good Lord. We are up to our eyes in so much violence that it we forget that this is not what God intended for us,… and then a tragedy like Charleston jolts us back for a moment. I grieve for a creation that has forgotten that peace is better than a sword, I cry out for a world in which my black brothers and sisters see violence against their bodies become daily news, and I cannot help but feel anger at a cultural system and disposition that too quickly forgets that nothing will change until we all start caring enough to wrestle with our darkness.
Jon Stewart, of course, manages to put words to this ache in a way that cuts through the BS, and calls it what it is:
A Prayer for Charleston (from Old South Church in Boston):
Dear Mother Emanuel,
You, who authored courageous slave rebellions,
who suffered and survived wretched bigotry, burnings and earthquake,
You, who worshipped underground when your church was outlawed …
Dear Mother Emanuel, in this day of grievous heartache we wrap you in bands of prayer.
We pour out upon your broken hearts the healing balm of Gilead.
You, whose shepherd has been taken from you,
whose building has become a tomb,
whose children are terrified:
We stand with you.
We weep with you.
We rage for you.
We keep vigil with you for your beloved dead.
May the God of Moses and Miriam, of Jesus and the Mary’s,
anoint you with healing, furnish you with hope and,
one day, some day, mend your torn hearts and wipe the tears from your swollen eyes.
God help us. Amen.