Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Clergy Corner: Numb

This morning I find myself numb to the news. I’ve noticed this lack of feeling more and more this year as 74 times in the past 18 months we’ve turned on the news to hear about another shooting. The horrific scenes of people fleeing from buildings, loved ones clinging to one another, and police storming into the danger. Where did the feelings go? Where did the rage I felt on 9/11 go? Where did the need for action go? 

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a pheasant hunt each fall with my dad even if in my 20+ times of hunting my personal bird count is 0. I enjoy the meat that hunting provides each year. I don’t have answers. I don’t know where to go. I know that as I search for feeling this morning, as I push past the numbness there is anger, there is rage, there is sorrow. 

There is something deeper here. In the Bible we find several books predicting, encountering, or cleaning up after the exile of Israel and Judah into Assyria and Babylon. There has been complete and utter destruction. One of these books is Lamentations. In this book the writer cries out: 

Lamentations 1: 12 “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which was brought upon me…(ESV)” 1:16 “For all this I weep, weep buckets of tears, and not a soul within miles around cares for my soul. My children are wasted, my enemy got his way (Message).”
Even as the writer cries out he moves on to chapter 3 and talks about God’s faithfulness. 3:19-24 “I remember my affliction and my wondering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him (NIV).” 

Even in the numbness of this morning, I find hope. I find promise in God our Creator who will not abandon us in the midst of horror. I find peace in the midst of the chaos. I find longing for the day when all of this senselessness is gone.