feet-1209636_1920One of our bloggers began a reflection this week by saying “I never imagined I would have to preach a sermon about anti-Semitism.” It’s been a week of unprecedented violence, unimaginable callousness, and unapologetic hate speech. Some of our bloggers are probing the depths of the pain and anger; others are seeking to find a ray of hope in the darkness; still others remind us that the familiar routines of life continue, even in the midst of chaos.

Melissa Bane Sevier borrows a term from (American) football to express her horror at the violence of recent days in her blog Contemplative Viewfinder. “Targeting, in a spiritual sense, is forgetting everything that is important about the common humanity we all share, and going after someone we perceive to be different from us, just because of those differences.”

In her blog Everyday Thinking, Maria Tafoya wonders where to find love. “Sometimes it seems like all there is, is Hate… Hate is loud and clamorous, red-faced with anger. It grabs our attention with clashing cymbals and clanging gongs, with screams and breaking glass. Hate excludes and rejects, pushing away anyone who is different.”

In her blog God of the Sparrow, Kathy Manis Findley shares a friend’s recollection of prayers that often began “Lord, we come to you one more time from this low ground of sin, shame and sorrow.” Even as we walk the low ground of these days, as we connect with one another to share our grief, we may see that “this ground we’re now standing on might just feel more like holy ground.”

Life in the Labyrinth is the blog of Michelle Henrichs. This week, she reflects on a community gathering at a synagogue in Milwaukee. One of the speakers talked about the kind of empathy that enables us to bear one another’s burdens. “A rabbi went to the doctor with his wife for her sore foot.  When the doctor asked what’s wrong, he said, ‘Doctor, my wife’s foot is hurting us.’ Pain to one is pain to both.  He stressed that it isn’t the Tree of Life synagogue or Pittsburgh that hurts – we hurt, because we are connected.”

Joy Freeman turns to the solace of nature’s rhythms to call her back to “my Holy and wholly season” in her blog Chaplainhood. “I look to the trees and see a time of winding down, of slowing to deep rest.”

The sheer breathtaking wonder of a sunrise speaks to Kimberly King in a post in her blog Consider the Lilies. “Ohhhh…please wait for me!  I want to be on the water and in front of the windows when you go full glory!”

Barbara Bruneau is a retired Lutheran pastor, living in southeastern Minnesota and currently serving in interim ministry. She is a knitter, a weaver, and a very occasional blogger at An Explosion of Texture and Color.

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