14 December 2012
have mercy upon us
I had such funny things to say today. Such lighthearted things, such witty snippets of sarcasm.
I was going to talk about how whenever I hear the fiscal cliff mentioned on NPR now, I immediately switch to either Christmas music, Les Mis, or this radio station I've found that seems to have re-discovered the playlist to every high school dance I went to.
Belting out "One Day More" is a better use of my time than listening to soundbites of Speaker Boehner and President Obama say that the other guy is the one dragging down the country.
"His proposal isn't even serious."
"The American people won't put up with this."
On and on they go, talking about the American people as if they have called every one of us and and know us by name and are planning on spending Christmas with us.
I was going to talk about how childish they seem, as if Washington were just an extension of Never Neverland.
I was going to say that their "am not, are too" finger pointing looks out of place on the steps of the Capitol; it belongs on the steps of a school, in those moments just before the bell rings and the little kids are trying to get in the last word in a taunting match that started on the bus.
I was going to tell them to grow up and then came this news that 20 children in Connecticut will never grow up.
There has been another mass shooting, and what a travesty it is that I can say that: another mass shooting.
Another opportunity to struggle to find words that don't sound empty and trite.
Another opportunity to immediately picture every child I know in the same circumstance.
Another opportunity to think: What would make a person do this?
Another opportunity to listen to the 2nd Amendment / gun control / why does this happen so often in America debate.
In the fading late-fall light outside my window, I can see a world where everything looks so normal. Cars are passing; people are on their way to Target or Kohl's to shop.
I am hundreds of miles from Connecticut, but still I think—as I always think after something so jarring as this happens—that the world should look different.
What do I want? For the lights to go out? For the cars to stop? For the errands to be ignored? For everyone to stop working for a day and say, "You know, there are so many more important things than this right now"?
Our broken, fallen world fractures a bit more every day—and especially so on days like today. We're reminded that we live in a world where nothing is sure and where evil seeps in to even the sweetest spaces.
I think what I'm looking for—as I try to process how the world can be one way in the morning and another way an hour later because someone walked into a school—is a way to recognize our brokenness, and the only way I know how to do that is by saying:
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Posted by Kamiah Walker