We have failed to protect our environment, and our children. We have failed to be at peace with our neighbours, and to share our wealth and our food. We have failed to grow, to learn, to stretch, to reach our potential, to live a full life. We have failed to count to 10, to let well enough alone. We have failed to learn the lessons of our past, and to prepare for the future. We have failed to see, to hear, and to speak.
Those of us who attended church today heard a story of betrayal and pain, manipulation and meanness, taunting and tragedy. The thought that the ruthless and jealous and narrow-minded and prejudiced could win (and do win still) is maddening. I feel a surge of rage, a deep well of anger and sorrow stirring within me when I hear this story, because there are so many other stories that happen in the world around me that end (or seem to end) in frustration and weeping. It’s the earthquake in Haiti and the oil spill in Louisiana and the tsunami in Japan. It’s war and poverty and greed. It’s unfair.
And I am implicated. I am in the wrong just as often, or as easily, as I sit in the wings and gnash my teeth. Perhaps the worst agony is knowing that I’m powerless. Or knowing that I would also run away. Like Peter, not wanting to be seen, but unable to turn away. Not wanting to be tarred with the same brush, fleeing the accusing voice, the cowardice in my own heart.
And so the cock crows. The bell tolls. The darkness falls, and we are left alone with our fear and our failure.
[this is not how I want the story to end. so let it continue. let us continue to hope.]
Photo taken April 17, 2011