Saturday, June 15, 2013

When Hope Hurts and Grace is a Choice

I am not even sure where this post is going to go.  I am raw with emotion since learning of the loss of co-worker of mine in a brutally violent murder/suicide in St. Louis this week.  I don't even have words to describe how awful this news feels.  Khadra Muse was a Somali Interpreter for the families that I work with that have children with visual impairments.  She did an amazing job communicating to the Somali refugees the importance of regular medical care for their children with and without disabilities.  She always asked about Shyla and Asher and took the extra time to educate me extensively on the Somali culture.  She left behind a five year old little girl.  My heart completely aches for this situation.

It's in these situations where the words "hope" and "grace" feel like daggers in a situation that seems hopeLESS and graceLESS, I turn to a quote from One Thousand Gifts:

“...the secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is.” 
― Ann VoskampOne Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

That's exactly what I have done this evening.  I took time to edit some photos from the last week that I took in this great city that knows violence, beauty, and strife.  God is here among the midst of colorful buildings and poverty stricken families that have lost the lives of loved ones in shootings this week.  To quote Bono

“God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them.”

And yes, Bono, we are with them.  We carry the victims of this week's shooting with us as we play with our children.  May our children never learn what it feels like to lose a parent in a violent shooting.  May we play with our children and pray for the children that lost parents on Thursday.  God is there healing, even if we don't see it.  They call it blind faith for a reason.

So art is created to remind us that God needs people to tell stories of creativity and relationship in these moments where joy is necessary and doubt is reality.  This is when the world needs the artists, the dreamers, and the peacemakers to continue to make art and community connections.

So lets make time to pray for each other, even our enemies, the people that frustrate us, the shooter and his family, the naysayers, the people who fear what they don't understand.  We are with each other.  We are worthy of seeing God in the midst of tragedy.

“I hunger for filling in a world that is starved.” 
― Ann VoskampOne Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

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