He Meets Us In Our Tears
What an era we are living through. It might end up as a chapter in a history book. From our vantage point it doesn't seem likely to be a chapter that ends well. As New Yorkers we just lived through collective trauma in the global epicenter of a plague that has felled tens of thousands of our neighbors. And it's not over. If that weren't not enough, we are now witness to more and more brazen acts of racial hostility in our country, to the open stoking of indifference to justice, to rage and to violence. One wonders not only who will survive in America, but whether America will survive America? These are sad and scary times for us as a multi-ethnic church committed to love, justice, and equality in The Great American City.
Sometimes the Lord comforts me in palpable ways, sensible consolations I can actually feel. Lately he's been meeting me in my tears. I pray, I read the news, I bring communion to some of you in person, I prepare worship, I encourage neighbors, and God is with me. But it's when I break down and cry real tears –– at the toxic cultural situation that has somehow managed to politicize a pandemic, at the knee on the neck of a brother-in-Christ known as "The O.G. of Peace," at the pain each person in this flock is enduring and especially you people of beautiful color, at my own struggles to maintain any semblance of hope –– it is then that I feel him. He comforts me, not with answers, but with his presence. I don't know why this is how he's choosing to love me at this time. I suspect it has something to do with Jesus having lived as one who "was oppressed, he was afflicted...a man of sorrows, much acquainted with grief" (Is. 53). It is my prayer that you will give God all of you: your rage, your fear, your isolation, your grief and tears, and that he will meet you there to teach you –– to teach us –– that he has surely borne our griefs, that He heals us with his wounds.
“To be a Christian is to live dangerously, honestly, freely - to step in the name of love as if you may land on nothing, yet to keep on stepping because the something that sustains you no empire can give you and no empire can take away.” –– Cornel West