Oh My God, I am bone-tired weary. I am already physically and emotionally exhausted from personal challenges and the chaos in the world is more than I can even bear to hear about. 8000 plus new COVID cases in Ohio today, 240 COVID deaths Statewide just this week alone — all so unnecessary and down right stupid. Throw in a tsunami of gun violence and deaths, probably in part caused by the stresses of the pandemic that refuses to end. Are we stronger and smarter than this ever-changing corona virus? According to the overflowing ICU numbers and the number of foolish, misinformed people still refusing to get vaccinate it would seem the virus is definitely winning.

On a more cosmic scale I hear that the hole in ozone layer over the South Pole is now larger than the entire continent of Antarctica. Floods, fires, and hurricanes of epic proportions still cannot convince most of us to admit our addiction to fossil fuel that, like most addictions, is killing us in bigger numbers every year. Yes, I know you showed Elijah that you were not in the earthquake, wind, or fire* but in the still small voice. You tell us to be still and know you are God, but Lord, it is so hard to be still in the midst of chaos. Yes, I know Jesus slept through the storm in the boat, but I am like the disciples who were afraid and chastised Jesus for napping while they were in mortal danger.

There is no off switch on my worrisome brain. Yes, I can sometimes shut off all my devices and not listen to the 24/7 news, but it is so much harder to still my mind and soul. Speak to me, Lord of the universe. Reassure me you are walking through this difficult time with me, carrying me or (dragging me if necessary) when my legs are too weary to keep going. Speak to the storm and calm the turbulent sea within my heart. I believe O God, help my unbelief. Amen

PS: I’m grateful to report that as it often does when I “take it to the Lord in prayer” I feel much better. I can’t explain how that works. I just know it does.

*Bible references: I Kings 19:12, Psalms 46:10, Matthew 8:24, Mark 9:24

9/11 Memories and Dreams

I am listening to 9/11 memorial services, reading of all the names of those who died that day, except of course the terrorists. Who mourns for those enemies Jesus tells us to love?  What families did they leave behind?  What legacy of anger and malice drove them, and how contagious was/is that vengeance in our response.  No turning the other cheek here, just promises as recently as last week from President Biden to “hunt you down.”  What if we could sit down and break bread instead of breaking heads?  Is that a pipe dream, a hopelessly naive fantasy?  If it is what hope is there for a world that will ever at peace?  And I’m not talking about peace through mutual assured destruction but true peace through unity, through the ties that bind us all together as passengers on spaceship earth. 

Has there ever been a time in human history free from conflict and war?  Ever since Adam and Eve were evicted from the garden and the following fratricide between their sons the human family has been hell bent on creating more deadly and efficient ways to assert power over one another.  What if all that “creative” energy to invent smart bombs, split atoms and destroy one another could be channeled into learning ways to save our planet and all the creatures God has entrusted us with?  Even on this day when we relive the horror of 9/11 I still dare to hope for a time when God will “pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”  (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17)

Because like the cockeyed optimist nurse Nellie Forbush sings in the great musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein,  “South Pacific,” “I’m stuck like a dope with a thing called hope, and I can’t get it out of my heart – not this heart.”