I told a dear friend the other day that I wasn’t really one of those people who look for signs of the Apocalypse, but the amount of pain and suffering in the world these days makes me think I might need to call up another friend who has the timeline down and ask her how I should prepare.
Most of this pain – shots fire, bombs dropped, family killed – is far from me, and yet, I am bowed over by it. The darkness is heavy these days.
This morning, I was reading Ed Cyzewski’s Christian Survival Guide – a great book if you have doubts about your own faith or wonder how to make sense of those people who you know who are Christians – and I came to the chapter on pain and suffering. Ed has some great wisdom there about how logic does not belong in the heat of pain, about what it means when God says he abides with us . . . and much more.
And all I kept thinking of was a day when I sat in the parking lot of George Mason University with time before my next class. My mom was dying. The man I loved was an alcoholic. I could not find my feet underneath me, and yet, I had university classes to teach and a mom to love on as hard as I could for as long as I could and the weight of entire unpredictability when I returned home each day. Dark days. Dark days for sure.
But I sat in the car that day and listened, over and over and over again to this song by Woody Guthrie. I sat and listened to Ellis Paul’s sweet voice carry me to a quavering peace. Then, I picked up my bag full of papers and books and walked to class. Strong enough for one more hour.
Today, may this song give you as much peace as you need to keep going. May you seize this promise as you are able.