Sunday, August 4, 2019

EL PASO


Words are inadequate in the wake of tragedy, yet I'm about to fill a page with a lot of them. I’d been debating picking up in this space again for a few weeks now, but this morning I knew I had to say something. Forgive the inadequacy of what follows.

Also, if you don't believe in God, or if you don't claim a religion, I hope you'll keep reading. No, I'm not interested in converting you to my faith. I respect you, whatever you believe - and we have lost so much the ability to respect one another even in the face of profound disagreement, I'd like to do my part to revive that. I hope you'll keep reading, because we're all in this together, and we all have good to offer the world. Even if you don't agree with the spiritual aspect of my thinking, I'm sure there are plenty of places we can find common ground.

My heart is broken for El Paso, and for Dayton. And we’ve said it before and it needs to be said again: “thoughts and prayers” are not enough.

El Paso, my God. How?

How is it that we live in a society so devoid of love, so filled with hate, that a person is willing to drive hundreds of miles to kill people because of the color of their skin or their immigration status?

A few months ago, I heard one of the wisest people I know reflect on prayer:
“When we pray for others, and we say, ‘Lord, help them!’ the Lord looks back at us and says, ‘Okay! Go ahead!’”

This took my breath away, as it brought together so perfectly the importance of ACTION in conjunction with our prayer, action as a result of our prayer.

I absolutely believe in the power of prayer - but our faith cannot simply consist of kneeling to pray. Remember the whole bit about faith without works being dead?

So go, and do. In whatever way you can. It doesn't have to be big, or dramatic. I watched a rainstorm over a swimming pool yesterday afternoon - millions of tiny droplets completely change the surface of the water - so millions of tiny actions, things you think are insignificant, can have a real impact. Don't doubt that. But go...

GO DO SOMETHING. Go vote. Go call your congressional reps. Go advocate. And everyday, go be kind. Go help people in need. Go love people who don't have any idea what it means to be loved. Go do what you can to make a difference in a world that deeply, indeed desperately, needs people who are willing to do the work required to make that difference.

Those of us who believe in God, need to act like we do, and to remember: he has no hands, no feet, no *heart* in this world, but ours.

FYI: There are plenty of people out in the world today who don't believe in God, who are doing a MUCH better job at all of this than those who do. Doing good, and doing the right thing, transcends religious and political boundaries.

There is no “them”, there is only “us”.





Nuestra Señora de la Paz, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe. 
This photograph is from Holy Week, but I can only imagine that Nuestra Señora mourns with us today.