"Let my prayer rise up as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as an offering to you." -Psalm 141:2
The sun rises and each day; people around this world encounter death and birth every day. Yesterday, in particular, the minds of people here in the US were focused on the bombings in Boston. There was the same stirring of anxiety within our hearts as the Sandy Hook elementary shooting and the Batman movie shooting in Aurora. We pour over the headlines and Facebook statuses, hoping for assurances of safety for all of our loved ones. But for some, that day is a crack that will be permanent on their family's structure. These tragedies in our own individual lives are not reserved for massacres and acts of violence, but our own deaths that we grasp in our hearts and the deaths of the people we know and adore. Every day, there are many life stories that have ended here on Earth; maybe it's the celebration of life of someone who lived for 93 years, or it's the silence found in the sadness of losing a 9 year old child. Every day these senseless acts change the reality of people; these stories are the ones that affect us all many times throughout our lives.
When is the grief done? It isn't done now; the tears are still being held behind our eyes. When will the groans of pain cease? I don't know, but I do know that I want to be a part of the love that hugs the pain.
My adopted grandmother asked me last week, "Why am I breathing here still when I am old and wrinkled and that young child died? What am I doing here still while that kid is gone?"
I told her that she is here to support and help.
Last night, a group of us in our apartment complex met in a living room for a prayer vigil, around a table adorned by candles and Salvadorian crosses. Together, we held the pain, the prayers, the love, and the scars.
All around us, every day, people are left with only themselves and other creatures around them (I say creatures because animals are such a great comfort during times of trial). Together we face events that are so strange because they are inherently inhumane or senseless. We join the the endless song and prayer that says that we are deeper than the pain and grief. There is love, there is kindness, there are helpers everywhere.