Wednesday, January 4, 2006

God Weeps

"Where's my cd!?"
"Have you been in my room again!?"
"Shut up!!"
These are some of the phrases flying around our house on a hectic, gettin'-ready for school, tryin' to fly out of the house at 7 am.
(In our defense, I've heard one teenage sibling wish another "good morning", one child volunteer to walk the other to practice, and I hear some pretty good classical piano coming out of the last few minutes of solace.)

But my thoughts are not really on any of this right now.
I had spent the better part of the day yesterday with one eye glancing at the news reports about the miners in WV. I had hoped with everyone else that they had come out alive. When I got up for a drink of water around 1AM this morning, I clicked on the tv to see pictures of wild jubilation as family members believed they would get their loved one back. And then I saw the devastation as they learned 12 of the 13 were dead and the 1 who is still alive is in critical condition.

It leaves you hollow and sad. I had a hard time falling back to sleep in the middle of the night. I had to find something less serious to think about so my brain could be lulled to sleep. C-Span (or was it C-Span 2?) provided the audio monotony to allow me to finally drift off again.

As a trained theologian I tend to think about the transcendant, (or was I trained as a theologian because that's how I tend to think?) Either way, my mind races to passages of the sacred text that might be appropriate. The 23rd Psalm (God is pictured here as a shepherd and we're sheep, "walking through the valley of the shadow of death"), or Jesus standing on a high mountain, over-looking the city in his last moments before torture and crucifixion. (He weeps for Jerusalem, "how I would have gathered you underneath my wings like a mother would protect her chicks".) Or Jeremiah, sent to tell the "people of God" that they were about to undergo some pretty difficult times (having to leave their homeland as punishment for abandoning the covenant of the God who had offered to protect them). Jeremiah is so distraught over the news he has to deliver that he has been given the title "the weeping prophet".

The weeping prophet of a God who weeps. Somehow that's the picture I have in my mind today. That God looks down over the little mining town in West Virginia, (not so different from a mining town where my grandfather gave most of his life in Pennsylvania), and He weeps.

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