A tough week

Forget your life. Say God is Great. Get up.
You think you know what time it is. It’s time to pray.
(Rumi)

Earthquakes, dog fights, and gunfire

It has already been a tough week around here.

Early Monday morning, an earthquake shook the Bay area awake before 6 am. A 4.0, the biggest I’ve felt since I moved here a few years ago.

At school, our week began with a dead dog dumped in the street in front of the school. A brave staff member scooped it into a garbage bag before the kids could gawk too much, but he told me later that the dog looked like it had been used to train other dogs to fight. It had been killed by another dog. I don’t even want to tell you how he knew.

And by Tuesday, one family with four kids in our school was spending their nights in the hospital with an uncle who had been shot five times by a local gang while he was out walking his dog. It will never stop shocking me how impassively kids talk about members of their families getting shot. It would have been a watershed event in my childhood, but its something common in their worlds.

It’s been a tough week. And it’s only Wednesday.

Hope is a hand to hand clasp

The deeply brilliant activist and Jesuit priest Daniel Berrigan (a man who knows something about bad weeks) wrote:

Let me then make bold to remind you
faith is a two-way street
hope is a hand to hand clasp

so
come believe in me
take my hand

As for that well-known
“our Father who art…”
I’ll unclench my fist
bloodied at your wall
shake the tears from my face
(that never failing rainfall)
put myself
like a yoga, all will and darkness
in formal stasis, attitude of prayer
will, believe me
keep trying, keep trying, keep trying
(Uncommon Prayer, 62)

When you are feeling nearly devoured by evil, run down by sorrow, remember that your story – however fragmented, mundane, or ridiculous – is worth telling. And your hope – however small, shaken, or fleeting – is worth having.

God is great. It’s time to pray.

 

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