Tuesday, April 16, 2013

When It Is Still Not Yet

“But you O LORD, reign forever;
                your throne endures to all generations.
Why have you forgotten us completely?
                Why have you forsaken us these many days?
Restore us to yourself, O LORD, that we may be restored;
                renew our days as of old–
unless you have utterly rejected us,

                and are angry with us beyond measure.” – Lamentations 5:19-22

by Ben Howard

Lord Have Mercy, kyrie eleison, christe eleison, Christ Have Mercy
Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison
More than likely in the next few days, we will have names and suspects. We will have arrests and we will have someone to blame. We will call them evil and they will be our new demons. They will serve as the face of menace and destruction and death.

We will hate them.

They will be the new James Holmes. The new Adam Lanza. The new terrorists.

And then we will fight. We will argue about mental illness or terrorism or who should have known what and when they should have known it. There will be hearings and there will be reports and there will be overpaid men in ties yelling at each other on cable news and using words like “obviously” to preface statements that are far from obvious.

Someone on Facebook will blame Obama. Someone else will blame God.

It is all so tragic, so horrible, yet so familiar, so normal.

Yesterday, after checking around to make sure that my friends were all okay, I thought to myself, “Only 3 died? That’s not bad.” Only?!? Really? That’s what crossed my mind? What kind of monster hears about the death of 3 innocent people, the pain and suffering of hundreds, and the emotional tragedy of thousands and says, “That’s not so bad”?

I am numb. The violence, the tragedies, the death, the brokenness and the desperation of the world just keeps coming. One after another. And they are so loud. They are so ever-present and unwieldy and unmanageable that I can barely do more than let them wash over me in a cacophony of tears and pain and blood.

And I am left cold, and I am ashamed that I do not feel more, that I do not hurt and ache along with those who hurt and ache. I am ashamed that my day was quite pleasant and relatively normal.

Since I am a Christian blogger and I have Christian blogger friends, I will read a bunch of articles about God today. They will talk about lament, and where God is in the tragedies, and how God is working with us to heal this broken world. They will talk about the heroes and the acts of love and truth and justice that happened in the wake of the explosions. They will talk about the Kingdom of God that is coming, the Kingdom that is already here.

And I will remember, bitterly, coldly, painfully, that though it is already, it is still not yet.

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." - Romans 8:26


Ben Howard is an accidental iconoclast and generally curious individual living in Nashville, Tennessee. He is also the editor-in-chief of On Pop Theology and an avid fan of waving at strangers for no reason. You can follow him on Twitter @BenHoward87.

You can follow On Pop Theology on Twitter @OnPopTheology or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OnPopTheology.

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