The world’s sadness

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.

Sixty-five years ago today—Monday morning, August 6, 1945—the US dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima, killing some 150,000 people. There are things to be said on such a day about peace and nonviolence, about the nature of war, about our capacity for evil, injustice and self-deception, about our complicity in benefiting from others’ suffering, about trading in our concepts of power rooted in violence and destruction for a vision of power rooted in being co-creators with God….

But sometimes statements are not what we need. Sometimes we just need a moment to open ourselves to the deep sadness of the world. If today isn’t the day for you—it’s your birthday, or you planned a picnic— you can remember Nagasaki on the 9th. Or another. Any day will do; there are plenty more. History drips with the blood of slaughter, oppression, cruelty and suffering. To live fully rooted in this world we have to let into our hearts the deep sadness that we all bear, hidden in our consciousness, our cultures, our bodies. We don’t need to wallow in it. We just have to stop protecting ourselves from seeing it, feeling it, knowing it.

When we connect with the deep sadness of the world we connect with all humanity, and all creation—and the life that endures. When we open ourselves to the world’s sadness we open ourselves to compassion. When we touch the world’s suffering we stand elbow to elbow with God. We connect with the grace that hasn’t given up on us, the hope that rises in us, the One who lives within us, even in our anguish. We behold the forgiveness that transforms, the healing that revives, the mystery that creates us anew. The joy of those who have stood in the ashes and wept with those who weep is honest and strong.

And even the unmarked graves, the mass graves, the innumerable tombs are all empty.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes

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