We are in the midst of the Eastertide. Yes, the Easter season lasts more than one day a year. Thank goodness. In the Christian church year, Eastertide is the 50 days between Easter Sunday and Pentecost Sunday. We get to continue to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
So why do I feel miserable? Why do I feel conflicted? Why am I emotionally and mentally drained?
There is a lot going on right now. My time here in Newton, Massachusetts is quickly drawing to a close – a little quicker than I thought. As I pack the books, tape the boxes and throw out old clothes, I know I am leaving without knowledge of what my future holds. If you have been following, you know that due to budget cuts, my position has been eliminated at the church. There is a fear that comes with this turn in the journey, because I’ve been here before. I was laid off exactly 10 years ago and now, I am laid off again. And in both situations, I didn’t know what happened next. I have mixed feelings about it all, from fear to joy; and shame to anger, and I need to work my way through them all. I just wish it were a little easier.
Then we get to this week. President Barack Obama announced Sunday night that they found and killed Osama bin Laden. I was in shock. My mouth dropped to the floor. It took a while for it to sink in, that it was actually true. Once I did, I even made a smart comment on my Facebook status that this is what ‘mission accomplished’ means. The news programs were showing areas around DC where people were singing, chanting, and cheering for what had been done. Other Facebook status updates quickly expressed their happiness, joy, and exuberance over bin Laden’s death.
As the evening turned into morning, I became conflicted. As much as I am comforted by the fact that bin Laden was found and killed, that he can no longer do harm (Although we all know that he has followers who can continue his evil work.) I cannot for the life of me, cheer, gloat, rejoice or dance in the midst of death. I remember our enemies who danced and cheered in the streets after what happened to us on Sept 11th. I remember what it felt like to see that happen. It was horrific and painful. Why in the world would I want to do that to anyone else?
Well, I have no control over what people say or do in their minds and hearts. You would be surprised to know how long it took me to figure that out. But I do have control over me. Why is it so hard for us to rejoice and find comfort through the act of peace? As I look at the events over the past few weeks, those that have had an impact on my mind and heart intentionally and otherwise, why can’t I seem to find the peace that God is begging to provide for me?
I ask the same thing of the country; instead of cheering and gloating, why can’t we respond in humble peace? God takes no pleasure in it so why should we?
I just watched a segment on the Today Show. It dealt with the concern of children and what they are witnessing through this week. When a child asks you, “Why are people cheering at the death,” what do you say? What do we all say? Makes you think doesn’t it? Makes me think.
There are many questions to consider and discern as I continue on this journey. I can see that my brain is in over thinking and worry mode now. The thoughts are sporadic. It’s time to let go and seek some peace.
Won’t you join me?
Proverbs 24.17: Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice.
Ezekiel 18.32: Take no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord
Ezekiel 33.11: I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
Psalm 4:8: I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.
John 14:27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
Ephesians 6:23: Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 3:11-12: let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.