These Days



It’s taken me a number of days before I could put fingers to the keyboard about the events that have transpired in the United States. Those days have been filled with reading and listening to news from a variety of countries and perspectives; reading and listening to opinion pieces from a variety of countries and perspectives; listening to speeches; shaking my head; and trying to sort out what I was thinking and feeling. None of that has stopped and yet I can feel some things coming together.

  1. Many people have said that they’d never have believed this sort of event—the breaking in to the Capitol, the insurrection inspired by someone in public office, could happen in the United States. I have no trouble believing this at all. We had a community prayer one evening and the person leading it had a card with a Leonard Cohen quotation on the cover—There is a crack, a crack, in everything. That’s how the light gets in.. My reaction was telling— I have known for as long as I can remember that there are cracks in everything. I have cracks, others have cracks, families and communities have cracks, systems have cracks… There’s nothing…nothing…nothing composed of humanity…that doesn’t have fissure already and the possibility of total fracture when the right wedge is applied. The wedge of power, illness, addiction, righteousness, hate, fear, lack, vulnerability, ego, pride, need… There are cracks in everything…

  2. I’ve been with others who have wondered about where God is in all of this—the current (ongoing, really) mess in the United States, the world-wide devastation wrought by Covid-19 and the convergence and overlap of all that is happening. Last night I was part of a conversation that touched on this and I rather suddenly realized that I don’t question the where of God in the midst of this whirlpool; what I question is the state of and exercise of humanity and what the present situation says about it. The exercise of and the fruit of free will have led to much of the beautiful and much of the terrible in our world. God…love, compassion, welcome, fidelity… is in it all…my faith in that has not changed. So too is evil, division, and hate…my belief in its presence is just as sure. Created by one with a capacity for the both… Being human. Holding that both/and yields…cracks.

  3. I have to choose, we each have to choose, by which force or power or inspiration I make my way, by which force or power or inspiration I/we recognize and navigate the cracks, the cracks, in everything…in the mirror by which I see myself, in the perspective I hold, in my relationships and affiliations…in my actions and decisions that shape a larger whole. I have to. We all have to. Complete collapse or name and navigate the cracks by the light of a desire to heal, grow, be better, a greater, more nuanced, image of the one in whose image we have been created. Each choice has consequences that reach deeper and farther than we realize.

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