AS USUAL, I feel I need to write something but feel muzzled by inadequacy. The tension exists between the tragic and the humdrum – the horror experienced by those deeply affected by events and the helpless sympathy of the rest of us – not sure how to react or feel, not sure what to say that would not somehow be belittling of their loss and pain – yet our lives tumble on in their daily routines. Which seems so offensive to those who are mourning, those whose lives can never be the same.
And of course, this is only in response to the things we know about – thinking particularly of those in Norway at the moment, but there are other horrors and losses everywhere, quiet and dark abuses in places we rarely or never hear about. Often I think I should feel more than I do, without the automatic numbing that takes place – a flash of disquiet at the relative smallness of my compassion. Then I realise it’s not about merely feeling but living compassionately – so even if we struggle to empathise at gut level (and how can we, really?) we make a choice to care, to love, to pray.
So I offer my muddled prayers for those who are desperately in need of help and comfort today – glad of a God whose arms are far longer than mine, but ashamed and appalled of the things we do in his name.