A sad meditation

in originalmusic •  5 months ago  (edited)

The burning of Notre Dame has me feeling sad for a lot of reasons...

I was at a memorial service today at my own church for a young man we had come to know and love, and I thought of the four generations of people in the building ... all the births, growth, and deaths we as a community have shared within and also with the community around us. If it had been our church's day to burn down yesterday, the sadness in five generations of people would almost be too much to bear. Now if that would be the case for a church only 70 years old, what would be the situation with a church that is 800 years old?

Now don't get me wrong. I am a hard-core Protestant. I also note that the historical Black churches that have been burned in Louisiana are not getting the attention and the affected communities are not receiving the outpouring of love and support that the French are getting, even though it will be a much greater struggle for those in Louisiana to rebuild than it will be for those in France. A lot of people I know are very, very angry about the coverage of a tragedy half a world away while the United States covers up the suffering caused by its internal terrorism problem.

That said, I further note that the callousness goes both ways ... I have encountered people just rejoicing over the fall of "Catholic paganism" and "monuments of European imperialism" with no thought that they are exhibiting the same lack of feeling for human heartbreak that they claim the Catholic Church in general and Europeans in general have shown toward them. Social media has done a lot to show that we are living in an age in which the hearts of many people, across cultures, have grown very cold. Not all hearts, but many.

So I am sad this evening, sad for a hot tragedy in Paris that reveals a cold, stony tragedy in the hearts of many, across cultural and color lines. And yet I have hope, for I do see that there still are people who are able to feel, to understand things beyond the horrors of history and the wounded pride and resentments on every side, and to act with compassion and sympathy. By the grace of God, my refusal to be callous, and instead remain compassionate for all those who are suffering and to do all I can to help those around me, yet stands.

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