November 30, 2015

a thrill of hope

I have felt burdened as of late, an overwhelming burden that I feel entirely powerless against. Every time I log onto the internet or catch the news, it seems as though another tragedy has occurred. School shootings, bombings, persecution, and murders seem so common now that it’s almost as though I’m not fazed anymore. I wrote a post a while back on being mad about school shootings and how it seemed that it was more of a “when” and less of an “if.” 

After the attack in Paris, I talked to a friend who loves the city and has spent so much of her life studying the language and traveling through the very city that was all over the news. She talked about balancing between the Christian ideal of forgiveness and grace, but while being entirely angered at the evil that had occurred. I said back to her, “I feel so overwhelmed with the darkness and devastation that I don’t even know where to start. I don’t know how to think about it and not allow myself to become broken and angry and bitter.”

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I’ve come to a place where it’s easier to not think about it because thinking about it and really leaning into the pain and brokenness means confronting hard truths. It means asking tough questions- questions that may never be answered and the reality of wrestling with those questions for the rest of my life is terrifying. It’s easier to bury my head in the sand and pretend like nothing is wrong. If it hasn’t happened in my little world, then it’s almost like it didn’t happen. I realize that isn’t healthy and that it’s actually just denial. 

To be honest, I’m scared to ask tough questions. I’m scared at what that journey of questioning looks like. I know that God is good- it’s a truth that I cling to, but it’s also hard to look at what is happening all over the world and still proclaim that God is good and is for us. It’s not impossible, but it can just feel really difficult sometimes. 

I was driving earlier today and “O Holy Night” came on the radio. I was covered in chills and brought to tears as the song proclaimed, “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” We are a weary world. We are perpetually saddened and broken over the state of our world. That’s something that we can all, regardless of our skin color, culture, or country of origin, can identify with. 

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This season, the season of advent, is one of hope and anticipation as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. In the midst of tragedy and devastation, we can grasp to the promise of restoration. Even though the brokenness feels insurmountable, we are promised that restoration is to come. This season reminds us of that. 
Brothers. Sisters. Do not abandon yourselves to despair. Cling to the hope of goodness and truth. Rejoice in that truth. Just as the song says, “for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” 

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