I find myself weary today. Part of it is that damn exegesis exam*, part is that my wife has been sick and not sleeping well, which makes me not sleep well, and part is because coffee isn’t doing it right now for some reason.
I mean really, coffee is supposed to wake you up, not put you to sleep like it has been doing to me today.
But I find myself more than just tired and drained because of my own life. I find myself weary because I see darkness in the world and I’ve found myself helpless.
I find myself tired and weary as I think about Baltimore. I struggle with knowing that racism is alive and well in our country. I am weary because I see what I find to be senseless violence because I don’t understand having a history that tells me I am only not an animal, a monster, 3/5 of a person, or worse to the legal system because I was born in the right time. I don’t understand being followed by cops because of the color of my skin. I’ve never been told that my culture is bad and that I need to follow another culture to not be a bad person.
I don’t feel or understand the anger that lead to the violence, so all I see is the violence. I see what seems to be mindless and undirected and needlessly hateful, and I can’t wrap my mind around anything else. I hear pundits and activists try to explain why it is happening, and I hear pundits and activists try to explain why it is wrong and evil, and I hear pundits and activists say why it is good and righteous, and I don’t understand.
It makes my head swim. I am a logical person, seeking to understand not just with the heart but with my mind. I try to understand the logic of something, the reason, the buildup and the systems and the anti-systems that lead up to something. I try to assign blame, assign righteousness, assign the best course action and judge the current actions upon them. I try, but I can’t.
All I see is anger and hatred and pain. So much pain.
I sit in my office and I actually feel the urge to weep. I won’t – professionalism is important and my door is always open – but weeping seems to be the only decent response. Even if everything that the rioters did was wrong, what lead them to be so angry to do it? How much pain have they been caused, have they felt, that this is the only way they could respond?
I don’t understand it, and I never will. My logical and organizing mind tries to rationalize it but I can’t. I so just want to get it, to know what is going on, but I can’t. All I want is to know how to ease the pain of those who are in pain, and I can only kneel, praying that God can provide healing because I cannot.
I am weary. And tired. And hoping that my prayer is sufficient.
I don’t feel your pain, but I can see your pain, and I want nothing more than for it to be relieved. May God’s loving arms give you comfort in peace in this time where there is nothing but pain and violence and anger.
Let us also bow for the relief of pain, for love to win, for people to love one another, and that we can feel empathy for all, not just those who we understand.
Breathe in, breathe out.
* As a side note, holy crap I was a gun shy about that exam. Exegesis was probably my strongest area in seminary – except may Presbyterian Polity because I’m awesome like that – and yet it is the exam I did the absolute worst in. I feel like the exam is set up not to test your actual ability to exegete a passage but do the busy work of someone else’s exegesis and then someone be creative with a sermon using, again, someone else’s process. That’s all to say, please let me pass this time 😦