There is so much going on and the darkening clouds seem to portend that an ominous presence has been laid over all things. I’ve awoken this week gripped by fear and unable to breath with the weight of responsibility that I feel for all things. I’ve struggled with where to lay my worry and where to settle my focus between the darkness that is Iraq and the darkness that is suicide and the darkness that seems to be a part of all things.

I cried over Robin William’s death. I cried over his death while children were being murdered for their faith. I believe that my grief for a beloved entertainer is simply a safe landing place for my grief over those children, over the shooting near St.Louis, over all things. It was a tangible loss of something that was impactful to my life. Great artists impact our lives. And the loss, via suicide, leaves in it’s wake a feeling of shock, disbelief, and horror. It is tragic, but it is sadly fathomable. These children’s deaths are unfathomable. This very moment those attrocities are being committed. In both instances I am helpless but in only one am I safe to grieve. In only one of these instances am I safe to simply sit in my grief. And I needed that permission this week to simply mourn. I could ask my God, “Why?” about one man’s suicide. I struggle though to even mention the children – I don’t even know how to ask of them.

These are the things that the unbeliever points to when they say we are wrong. When they say we make no sense. This killing in the name of Allah, is exactly what they use to discredit my God. But in this darkness is not my God.

I have no answers, no platitudes, no understanding. Just a simple faith and a shaky hope. I will not argue and I will not plea, but I will simply sit. I will sit in wild contemplation and with plaintive pleas for more hope. Just a bit more hope. I will offer my mustard seed of faith and trust that it is sufficient.

I read and read about all of these tragedies and the people who are broken by them. I soak up these stories as if the knowledge will allow me to glean a path forward. I read the stories of those who have survied the suicides of ones they love. I read the stories of one’s who have survived their own attempts at suicide, and I have no guilt over my grief for this sad loss of one person. For every suicide is a tragic loss worthy of grief. Every suicide is a peek into a malicious and dangerous misfire in the mind and we pray that it spares those we know who are in the grips of depression. How many of us, upon learning that Robin – that being of laughter and light – committed suicide. How many of us immediately thought of someone we know who battles depression? We grieve not only the loss of a distant artist, but we fear the loss of someone we know to this hurtful and painful disease of depression. Our grief is acceptable. Our grief is not a dismissal of any other atrocity, but simply an acknowledgement of this one.

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The persecution and murder that is occurring in the name of a misguided and deranged religion is enough to mourn. If that were all we had to mourn, it is enough. Powerless and content, air-conditioned and overfed, I don’t even know what to do with the information that I am privy to. I can’t reconcile the stress I struggle with daily over the abundance in my life – I do not have enough time to take care of my abundance – and the fact that children are dying. I cannot reconcile this. I cannot. I selfishly long for the ignorance that we had before 24 hours media overtook our lives. I selfishly long for the days when I was simply unaware. Can I admit that? I do not know what to do with all of the information of the horrors that are occurring in this very minute. I do not know what to do.

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St. Louis is on fire and neither side has any compassion for the blindness of the other. All long to be seen and use verbal grenades and actual fire bomb’s to do so. Creating a smoke screen of violence and ignorance that insures not only will this situation not illuminate, but it will only drive each side further apart. My own instinctual bias’ born of a life of privilege must be contained and tamped down. I must constantly remind myself that because I’ve never been so frustrated that I wanted to burn the world down, does not mean that people who are should not be heard. My inability to understand is not proof of my being right, but only of my limited exposure. There is wrong and there is right on both sides and it is in the middle where people stand with the answers, but cannot be heard. Reason is silenced and overlooked in the face of such anger and vitriol.

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And while I am toiling through these attrocities in mind, I will also post pictures later tonight of my little one starting pre-school. I write of this insanity from a beautiful home overlooking lush woods and a beautiful sky. There is so much work to be done at work each day. I’m preparing for a party this weekend to debut my new side job that I’ve started to help make ends meet and meet new women, make new friends. I look forward to working with our kids this weekend at church where they will jump in bounce houses and learn about a God who loves them. My actual life is a picture of tranquility, beauty, and abundance.

And even these things, I am fearful of. Worried over how to meet all the demands of my career. Scared that my children are growing so fast and I’m unable to process a world that I’m supposed to be preparing them for. Scared to start something new, outside my comfort zone. What if I fail? Struggling to find the time to prepare the lesson and give those young ones my best Sunday morning.

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I don’t understand how to live in this world with it’s suicides, murder, human trafficking and racism. I don’t understand how to breath under the weight of such horrific happenings.

But when I leave this room I will go play with my daughter and I will laugh. I will go collect precious stories of my son’s first day of preschool and my heart will burst with joy at the sparkle in his eyes when he talks.

And in the dead of night I will wake burdened by my comforts and guilty over my day-to-day worries. Fearful for those who are battling depression, and in mourning for the lives lost across the world. Frightened by the violence mere hours away. Occupied by my mundane daily concerns and fears.

Somehow I must find a path back to balance and sanity. My overburdened heart and mind is of no good to anyone. I am of two minds and the verse about a house divided has never felt so real. I can barely stand.

“Dear friends, if God loved us this way, we also ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God remains in us and his love is made perfect in us.” 1 John 4:11-12

I will love those closest to me. I will strive to understand those with different perspectives. I will not turn my back on the darkness but instead I will shine my light upon it. I will cling to the hope that this is not the end and this is not our final chapter. I will remember where my hope lies and I will do as I have learned to do. I will love. This is my mantra. This is my hope. This is my only hope.

We must not give in to anger and darkness. We must fight the madness of this world with gentle words and peace-filled hearts. Remembering, if we love each other, God remains in us and his love is made perfect. There is nothing that love cannot overcome. We will fight our anger and nurture our love. In all matters, we nurture the light that is Love.

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