I changed my schedule around a bit this afternoon, thinking I would stay home and work on my sermon. I sat down with my laptop at the kitchen table, and I found I couldn’t write a word. I read blogs, I read news reports. I had the little kitchen TV on, but without the sound most of the time. It’s as if I wanted to hear the news, but at the same time I did not. I decided to work on another project altogether, making a chart of favorite hymns named in a survey we did at church to help us in choosing a new hymnal. Basically, I did busywork.
I did busywork because it is too painful to reside in the feelings I had this morning after I heard the news of explosions in the London Underground and saw the picture of the doubledecker bus now missing its top deck. It was too painful to reside in the fear and the anger and the sorrow.
I felt fear that my own loved ones will be victims of random political violence someday. #1 Son told me just yesterday that he wanted to go to England during his Junior year, and today I wanted to say, “No!” (And I did say it, but we both knew I didn’t mean it, not really.) I fear that my children won’t have a chance to safely see the world as I did when I was young.
I felt angry that people use religion as either a justification or an excuse for such acts of violence against other people. I believe their acts of violence are not with God or for God but absolutely against God. I wonder how it can be possible to punish such acts in this life?
I felt sorrow, oh such deep, deep sorrow for those whose lives were blown up today, for those who are maimed physically, for the loved ones who are maimed emotionally, a part of them cut away forever.
I flung my arms around my tall, solid husband and told him how much I wanted to move even further away from people and cities and so-called civilization.
But then I had to go to work and do my day, send e-mail to parishioners and to The Princess off at camp, meet with a colleague who didn’t know the news, sit in road construction traffic, take Molly to the groomer, figure out something to eat for lunch, get some groceries, meet with the speech therapist–the things that make up my life. I heard an Englishwoman talking on NPR about how the British people would get on with their lives and wondered why I’m not that kind of person.
And then I realized that I am. And that it is in the midst of getting on with my life that I struggle to make sense of what has happened, to understand what I will say about it if asked, to pull my thoughts and feelings together into some semblance of order.
It is in the midst of getting on with my life that I call out to God and hope to make a connection, to feel that God is present in the fear and the anger and the deep, deep sorrow.