Episcopal Bishop Carol Gallagher says, “When you can’t do anymore, pray. . . .”
I’m thinking, “When you can’t begin, pray. . . . ”
Sometimes I get stuck. More often than I would like to admit. And getting unstuck is usually neither easy nor quick. Kicking myself in the metaphorical butt for a quick restart would do the trick if I weren’t so damned good at rationalizing and procrastinating.
There are a lot of reasons for getting stuck. Most of them are in my head . . . and in my heart.
This week I’ve been stuck, because the news in the outside world, outside of my home and family, feels like an assault. There has been news of bomb plantings in a mall south of Denver . . . deaths from wildfires, homes gone in blazes, and an arrest for arson of one who set and abandoned a slash fire just north of Longmont . . . more states adopting fearful, hate-filled, anti-immigrant laws like Arizona’s SB1070, and no one is reacting much anymore, overcome by other bad news . . . California state employees who have gotten their share of illegal graft through non-repayment of salary and travel advances, an example of how bad behavior among management (elected leaders) begets bad behavior among employees . . . tribal killings in Africa where elections don’t seem to change anything . . . corporations reaping billions of dollars in profits while paying zero taxes, and Congress still doesn’t have the resolve to right these wrongs . . . abductions of young women, and normal people unable to intervene even when they observe the evil happening . . . new and old stories of mothers killing their children and themselves . . . .
I can’t help it. I take these stories personally. I feel a lot like Leeloo from the film "The Fifth Element,” assaulted by the onslaught of a whole lot of bad news and bad behavior and feeling mightily dumped on.
I think the oppression of the bad news and evil is exacerbated by the fact that this is Holy Week, and we have been approaching the Triduum. I began Lent in a hard place, with the death of our beloved niece, Debbie, and news of cancer in two other relatives. It felt like we had our own Ash Wednesday that lasted weeks. We were immersed in more than just a one-day observation.
The flowers have been slow to rise up out of the ground this spring, and the late snows have covered them at least once already. The tulips never made it, but a few brave daffodils are next to the front walk. The crab apple trees are budding out, and their pink flowers brighten the view from the kitchen window. Easter! We are so ready for the resurrection to come. We want our Alleluias back. We have wintered too long . . . .
I'm praying as hard as I can.