Lord, have mercy

A hundred thousand. Lord, have mercy. Many of those taken from us were elderly, but so many others were not. Ages 44, 52, 36, 25, 48, 43 … they still had so much to give, and the world is so much poorer without them.

Many of us are grieving … for this loss of life, for the loss of the lives we ourselves wanted to be living now … and it’s hard to grieve alone.

We need to feel free to go ahead and do the work of grieving, to curse and to cry. I think it’s important to face the loss, and not just turn away and wait for it to be over. We need to engage our grief.

But one thing I think we need to be careful about is targeting the wrong enemy. I see that in those who want to shame people who are or are not wearing masks, those who blame individual politicians for the closings, those who want to reopen churches now as an act of religious freedom.

I think true religion calls on us to dig deeper, to nourish compassionate hearts.

I read this this morning and found it helpful. It’s a reflection on Mark 7:24-30, the story of the Syrophenician woman who told Jesus that even the dogs deserve their crumbs:

Jesus of Nazareth,
When you met the
Woman of Syrophenicia,
you called her a little dog
but that didn’t stop her.
Little dogs need little crumbs,
she said,
and you listened,
and praised her for her words.
We praise her words too,
and ask that we can speak like her,
and listen like you.
Because this is the gift of
and repentance.
This just might save us.

from “Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community,” by Padraig O Tuama