It is morning. We waken slowly, rubbing sleep from our eyes and shaking our heads, hoping to empty our minds of bad dreams, but the dreams do not go. The dreams are the reality. The morning has not outshone the night. The night keeps getting longer. We feel the cold of the darkness and begin to wonder when the days will lengthen, bringing grace and love and peace. I don’t know what there is left to say. In the din of fighting over gun control, human rights, religion, would a whisper even be heard? I leaf through my Bible, a source of comfort in a time of fear. David writes so many of my feelings, like these:
“I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted. I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart meditated and my spirit asked: ‘Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?’ Then I thought, ‘To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.’ Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.” (Psalm 77:1-15)
Nestled in between murders, wars, rapes, and unspeakable tragedies of the Old Testament, the Psalms remind me who God is. In the midst of questions of divinity and humanity that meet in moments of despair, I know that God is still here. We can ask those age-old questions: Has God forgotten to be merciful? Does He see the pain in this world? Does He care? And in the answer, we can see the potential for redemption, in spite of the evilness that threatens to devour society.
But more important than me using this truth to quiet my own fears is the opportunity to give this truth to those who have never heard it. How dark the night must feel without the knowledge of the Son. Now is the time; not the time for religious rhetoric, pious nose-turning, interpretive infighting. It is the time for the Redeemer. I do not believe He created these moments. I believe He watches and weeps as humanity tears itself asunder. In His eyes,we are like self-willed toddlers or unruly teenagers, turning our own ways. Among us are those cloaked in evil, waiting for opportunity to spread violence and hate. But God is Love. And so many facing these tragic moments need Love. We have the power to be Love on this earth. We have the power to spread Love. Now is the time.