As my pastor said today in his sermon, “It’s been a week.” He was referring, of course, to the many disturbing events that were in the forefront of the news.
- Matthew Shepard was laid to rest 20 years after he was beaten and left to die because he was gay.
- A caravan of people walking from Central America to our border, where 800 U.S. troops will prevent them from seeking asylum from the violence and poverty they are trying to leave behind.
- A mentally unstable man and Trump supporter with a long rap sheet mailed pipe bombs to prominent Democrats.
- Eleven people were gunned down inside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
- 400,000 children are at risk of dying from malnutrition in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia wages war by cutting off food supplies to civilians.
As a country, as a world, it has been a week. A week that reflects an ongoing intolerance of “the other.” Can the bar get any lower?
My pastor’s comment made me consider my week. Mine has been a week as well, but in a very different, hopeful way.
- I began fostering an 18-month-old golden retriever rescued from neglect and abuse. After a few days of adjusting, she has shown that indomitable spirit of her breed.
- A friend who was diagnosed with sarcoma this past summer and has been through chemo and two surgeries met with her oncologist, who gave her every reason to believe she is going to survive.
- A dear aunt—the last of her generation in my family—passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones who were able to say their good-byes. While we will all miss her down-to-earth goodness, we will gather to celebrate her 94 years and acknowledge those other loved ones gone before her who are now welcoming her home.
- I heard two wonderful authors speak. Min Jin Lee wrote Pachinko, a sweeping historical novel of Korean Japanese culture. Megan O’Gieblyn, a former teacher of mine, read from her collection of essays, Interior State, in which she explores being from the Midwest and her “deconversion” from an evangelical background.
- Saturday I attended a class at The Loft, taught by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew. Most of the participants are working on a full-length project and some are nearing completion. Elizabeth gave us a new lens for considering the power a finished manuscript continues to exert on us and the world, whether or not it’s published.
It has been a week. A week of feeling as if things are coming apart at the seams, and a week of sewing up, stitch by stitch, the torn places. Soon I will head to a nordic contemplative service, where the theme for these Sunday evening services is the chance to start again. Just what we all need.