What do you say when there is nothing left to say?
Outside my window it is cloudy, windy, and rainy.
The bare trees bend and shift under the pressure of the storm.
The storm has lingered here.
Most of the week has looked like this.
If I could look inside my soul and describe what I saw there, the words would be the same.
This week the storm has lingered in my soul.
This isn't anxiety.
This isn't depression.
This isn't winter trying desperately to cling to the end of it's life.
This is different.
Just a few weeks ago we sang,
"The thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices!
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!"
As the words crossed my own lips I remember thinking,
"Perhaps by singing into existence, it will be so."
And for a brief time it was.
But the calendar always turns back to Lent.
We cannot stay in the hope and the joy of Christmas Eve for too long.
Because we live in a weary, broken world.
Lent is hard.
I don't like it.
I want to bypass the hurt and the suffering.
I want to ignore my own sins, my own brokenness, my own weariness.
As the seasons are wrestling between winter and spring, so my soul wrestles between hope and weariness.
I know the end of the story.
I know that Easter is coming.
I know that resurrection happens and that this weariness doesn't get the final word.
But today ...
Today in Parkland, FL two families will lay their children to rest.
Today the families of Meadow Pollack (18) and Alyssa Alhadaff (14) live the weariness.
15 more families will follow suit.
And nothing will change for the rest of us.
Life will go on, laws will stay the same, another violent crime will happen, and we will reel again.
Ella is 13.
Every day she goes off to a school.
She does her thing.
She has lunch with her friends, plays her horn, does her homework, and speculates about the upcoming Marching Band show.
I wonder sometimes if it crosses her mind that any given day it could happen at her school.
I wonder how often she catches a glimpse of someone in her school that makes her uncomfortable.
I wonder if she is ever scared to go.
Because I do.
Pretty often, actually.
Not every day, no. But often.
Often I wonder, "Will it be today?"
Please not today, God.
Not my kid.
Not her school.
Please not today.
There's a weariness in that like none other I have ever known.
Anxiety exhausts me.
Conflict exhausts me.
Political posturing exhausts me.
Life exhausts me.
But those are temporary.
The weariness that comes with raising a daughter in a violent culture is one that never ends.
If we keep things like they are now, the day will NEVER come when I don't worry for the safety of her life.
As every parent knows, you don't stop worrying about your child because they've grown up. They will always be your kid.
So where do we go?
What do we do?
How do we find hope in the weariness?
Lent calls us to sit in it.
To explore it.
To make peace with ourselves in the midst of the brokenness.
To find God in the woundedness.
Because even Jesus knew the weariness of this world.
And that is what Lent calls us to remember:
Cry with us the brutality
grieve with us the misery
tremble with us the poverty and hurt.
(excerpt from Walter Brueggemann's prayer, cited in Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth)
Lord come quickly!