Like so many, I find myself mesmerized by the current state of the world – the rapidly churning news cycle and the deep chasm of separation between people and groups that seems somehow deeper and more daunting than ever before.
Most recently, I am struck with the images of children gasping for air in the aftermath of the horrific chemical attack in Syria.
I look into the face of my child, and I weep at the thought of his ever experiencing that kind of pain. I dwell on these things, and my world becomes very dark.
It is hard to find God when our only input is this negative barrage of conflict.
In these moments, I meditate on one of the Collects for Compline:
“Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and the chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
It is the word 'changelessness' that reverberates in my head like the steady hum of a singing bowl. In that word, I find hope; and something even more palpable, peace.
In a world that often seems devoid of goodness, the peace of God is a constant. And that constancy gives me strength to continue striving for justice and mercy among all people.
On this Good Friday, I look to Jesus, facing the darkest moment of his humanity: his death, and separation from God. And I am overcome by thankfulness for his courage and his sacrifice.
Jesus did not cease to love his neighbor, even when his neighbor crucified him. Jesus’ love became the ultimate act of both justice and mercy. Would that I will do the same, with God’s help.
My prayer for you this Good Friday comes from the words of Brennan Manning and the book Ruthless Trust,
“TO BE GRATEFUL for an unanswered prayer, to give thanks in a state of interior desolation, to trust in the love of God in the face of the marvels, cruel circumstances, obscenities, and commonplaces of life is to whisper a doxology in darkness.”
When the sun sets today below the horizon, let us remember the hope of the resurrection.
“Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
– Psalms 30:5
Chad Brinkman is the Program Officer for Engagement at Episcopal Relief & Development.