Christmas is hard to find this year. Advent is here and I want to sink into the excitement that December usually brings, but it’s different this year. Grief and fear are palpable.
Families are running for their lives abroad, climbing out of tiny boats or over fences to hand their babies to strangers offering help. Communities are grieving the loss of sons, daughters and friends who went to work and never came home. Hateful speeches that betray our most basic values are blasted across the Internet, shaming the name of the Church and feeding the lies of the enemy.
Another shooting in the U.S. Another explosion overseas. Cancer. Stillbirth. Accidents that change everything.
The severing feels like it’s going to be too much this time. It feels like the earth will break from the undercurrent of pain. It won’t. It’s going to keep spinning and holding us here while we howl and sort through the mess, but there are days when that doesn’t feel true.
On the surface, Christmas is hard to find this year. Maybe that’s why the anticipation of Advent means more to me now than ever before. Advent offers the hope that at our most desperate moment, light breaks into darkness with redemption and new life. Maybe I understand it more this year than when joy was a bit easier to uncover.
On the Left, Right and all along the middle, people are aching for resolution. We disagree about how to respond, often lashing out in over-the-top outrage, anger and fear.
We won’t all agree on the solutions, but can we at least agree that the darkness is real? It’s heavy and suffocating and heartbreaking.
Frederick Douglass said the “conscience cannot stand much violence.” We either look away and pretend it’s not there or we stand up to do something about it.
In the spirit of Advent—the anticipation of hope and the bright life that broke into a bleeding world with perfect love—let’s agree to be people who flood the darkness with light. Let’s set out to meet great grief with pure love and unmovable truth. CONTINUE READING AT RELEVANT MAGAZINE...