Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope…– Lamentations 3:21
I cannot remember the last time I included a Bible verse in a blog post. When I lived overseas I would pepper my blog entries with theological thoughts and ideas. I was a Christian living overseas doing Christian work and the inspiration to write about things and to steep them in my religious identity came out freely and often. Being at home the past six years that impulse has waned. Significantly. And yet this week has struck me in such a way that I feel a need to reach out and grasp at something, anything familiar.
The videos from this past week and the attacks in Dallas surely have others grasping for something they can hold onto, however tentatively, that gives them comfort in this time of tragedy and mourning. It is said writing is therapeutic and so here are my thoughts on this past week. The violence of the past days and years is reprehensible. Racism is reprehensible. The murder of innocent people, citizen or law enforcement, is reprehensible. Surely we all agree on this?
I do confess to feeling incredibly lost when I woke up this morning. I had no way to process these acts of violence. For years I have heard people say America is as divided as ever and I consequently blew them off. It was just rhetoric or political posturing or a cry to reject change. Overall America was still America. We were still all in this together.
Today America feels divided. It feels like people squeezed into opposite corners of a huge room, as far apart as they can get from one another. And yet still they are climbing, crawling, clawing their way to get yet even farther from one another. And as they are doing this they are taking just enough time to turn from their efforts to yell expletives at the people in the other corner. I confess to feeling hopeless.
Perhaps that is why this verse from Lamentations came to mind today. I’ve known it since my time living in South Africa. It’s a profound verse in a profoundly sad book of the Bible. I encourage you, whatever your background, to read Chapter 3 today. I offer this verse as my own personal lament for my country today. For lives lost and families grieving. For communities torn apart by injustice and inequity. I offer it as a small token of hope that as we mourn together we can remember our histories, overcome divisions, and move forward together.
May you call something to mind today that gives you hope.