Here are the long over due voices I found for you to start this month out with. To be honest, between a full work schedule through the weekend and wrestling with a tragic loss that My Air Force family suffered late last week I have really struggled to come up with words. I am still struggling.
It has been a hell of a week for sure, both for my military community and so many others. From the recent shooting in Oregon, to the plane crash, to the recent bombing of a hospital in Afghanistan — my heart is just tired.
Tired of breaking every time I open my email or FB or Twitter or Instagram to see yet another account, another reminder, another call for support, another issue where political lines are drawn but nothing really beyond clamor gets heard.
It’s not that I don’t think sharing and supporting via social media aren’t important, as I do and have done it myself just this past week. It’s not that I don’t believe there are places and times for debate and discussion, as I probably wouldn’t be a blogger if I believed that.
I just know that it all hurts.
It all scares me.
It all makes my struggle with being anxious over the future and for those I love even more real. It makes me question my beliefs.
The plane crash has produced hard and emotional and vulnerable conversations with my family members over the very real dangers that come with my husband’s career.
The recent shooting makes me realize yet again that I can never just look at the gun issues naively or simply any more. From all I can see, all we can come up with are reactionary emotional responses and solutions.
Getting on Social Media, makes me feel like a kid plugging his ears as his family fights in the background.
As angry and as emotional as people get about this issue, if it was going to be fixed by getting rid of guns or was going to be fixed by getting people to get even more guns–then we wouldn’t be seeing what we are seeing happen more and more. Let’s face it, both sides have been shouting and running to those two extreme options for years and neither have accomplished making us anymore safe.
So instead of joining a side, I am searching deep within the fray to find a way to listen and hope for a better, new way forward. I think its going to take a lot of honesty, a lot of compassion, a lot of grace, and a willingness to listen and work together versus using fear and anger to drive us nowhere but further apart.
The recent airstrike makes me feel torn between the horror of grappling with the recent loss of military members and the horror of knowing that somewhere over in Afghanistan and around the world there are other families mourning the loss of their family and loved ones, whether they were patients or staff members of Doctor’s Without Borders. I feel even more ripped apart when I consider that some insurgents who care so little for human life may have inserted themselves into a hospital to use it as a literal human shield, or to also consider the calculating and terrifying alternative that a medical hospital might have just been collateral damage in an air strike where someone had to weigh an impossible cost and then is now living with the aftermath of that decision.
So this week my heart is raw. All our hearts are raw.
Pain and suffering and loss seem more real and overwhelming than ever.
Instead of grasping for answers and certainty, I am instead trying to just lean into these questions and pain and fear to learn from the difficult, but valuable teachers that they each can be.
So with this all in mind, here are some voices I came across these past few weeks that I feel speak in one way or another to where I am at right now. I hope you find one that speaks to you too.
Wherever there are women in the Bible, albeit with a few exceptions, they are their own person. Even when connected with another, they act on their own. They have relationships and wills, strength and depth and courage. What have we been doing all these centuries, paying attention to the haphazard men of the Bible while women like these pepper the pages? Why don’t we stop and ask how we can be more like these women, women who act of their own will to seek the best in all they do? ~ Rev. Brooks Cato
It’s easy to fixate on everything that goes to ground as time goes by: the disintegration of a relationship, the disappearance of good work well-done, the diminishment of a sense of purpose and meaning. But, as I’ve come to understand that life “composts” and “seeds” us as autumn does the earth, I’ve seen how possibility gets planted in us even in the most difficult of times. ~ Parker J. Palmer
If we don’t deal with our trauma, our trauma begins to deal with us. If we don’t allow ourselves to feel our feelings, they have a habit of peeking around the corners of our lives, breaking in at the most inopportune moments. ~ Sarah Bessey
Creating margin in my schedule allows me the opportunity to give someone my best “yes.” When I have protected space, I have a cushion against activities and commitments that might not be beneficial to myself or my family. ~ Amanda Snodgrass
I quickly learn you can’t practice Christianity while you look down your nose at it. ~ Rose Shepley
Rachel Held Evans and I do not agree on every topic. In fact, there are some big differences in our beliefs. But when she blogs on those issues that we take different sides on, I feel invited into conversation with understanding and grace… ~ Kate Wallace
We’ve mourned too often, seen too many schools and colleges devastated by shootings, watched too many students get an education in grief. It’s time for a new approach to gun violence….What we need is an evidence-based public health approach — the same model we use to reduce deaths from other potentially dangerous things around us, from swimming pools to cigarettes. We’re not going to eliminate guns in America, so we need to figure out how to coexist with them. ~ Nicholas Kristof
All I can do is thank our servicemen. All I can do is pray. All I can do is never take one moment with my husband for granted. All I can do is look up at that C-130 flying above our home and appreciate everything it’s done and will continue to do. ~ Max Clegg
Until next time,