Friday, February 1, 2013

The only way I can keep reading

I've been on the verge of anonymous tears since five minutes prior to elementary school dismissal. My friend sent me an article, and it was the seventy ninth swing of the wrecking ball, the one that sent me tumbling to the ground. Not so much in a panicky way, like how will I navigate this with my own children and how will I keep them safe? But in a one-last-nail-in-the-coffin way, like how can we all be so completely effed up? Why do we insist on destroying each other?

I'm pretty sure the world has always been this terrifyingly awful. We've simply found more subtle and civilized ways to be barbaric.

Today I keep hearing the voice of Little Bee, a fictional 16 year old Nigerian refugee. "And then the men came, and...." Little Bee imagines how she might kill herself in every situation, in case the men were to come. Because in her experience, it's better to be dead than to be able to look the men in the eyes when they come.

I wish I could go back to not knowing about the Little Bees of the world, about the sexually exploited children, about the troubled teenagers who come of age in a world of over-exposure, about the suffocating darkness that persists even under the heat of a noonday sun. I wish I could believe that the good guys weren't so few and freaking far between.

The crazy thing is, I still believe in a captial G God who is capital G Good, a relentlessly loving God who will gather us up out of the hell we've made for ourselves and miraculously make things right. A God who is quick to forgive the foulest of men along with the most innocent of children. A God who sees the poor in spirit, the meek, the mourners, the merciful, the peacemakers, and calls them blessed.

I know it sounds like a fairy tale, like the far fetched stories of rescue and happily ever after that we tell again and again in every form and language. And it's almost because it sounds like a fairy tale that I'm prone to believe. For where did we get these audacious ideas anyway--these longings for good to overcome evil, for a sacrificial hero, for love and for peace, for eternity? Maybe these are the stories first told by a capital G God. And maybe these stories were planted in our fainting, failing hearts to assure us that no matter how horrific the first few chapters feel, there's still hope for a happy ending. 

At least I hope to God that's the case. It's the only way I can keep reading.


  1. oh how that big G God carries us... even just to the next adventure xoxo

  2. Glad you've created this small space and I look forward to whatever you care to share in it.

  3. I like this and I like you (like-plus, love, love-plus). I'm holding out hope for the happy ending along with you, believing that our need for narrative is part of this deeper yearning for justice and mercy and happy ever after (and finally rest, yes? Oh, yes.) Love you, friend, and I'll be watching this space.

  4. Oh, Hope with a capital H. I'm so glad we have it. Love the pretty new space!