Sorrow and joy

This has been a difficult week in America and for me personally as we try to understand the meaning of the pain and sadness and sorrow of the Boston bombings and the Texas fertilizer factory explosion as well as the despair I feel when politicians will not pass the most conservative gun control measure and when ultra conservatives in the NC General Assembly are working to dismantle our school system and basic citizen and reproductive rights.

 

This morning though sitting among members of a faith community, I could feel this despair counterbalanced by other experiences of the week. I had participated in the Switchpoint Conference in beautiful Saxapahaw, NC listening to and being inspired by young and not so young people discuss the use of innovation and connectivity for social good in the US and in developing countries. I went to a party to celebrate the career of a friend and former graduate school professor who has been and continues to be an amazing influence on everyone she meets. I saw the Playmakers Repertory Company perform Cabaret in way that was completely entertaining – at the same time it made us see it as a cautionary tale against what happens when we do not speak out against injustice. This morning at church we were uplifted by the music of the gospel choir, the recognition of 20 years of service by our very compassionate associate minister and given a space in which to process with others the difficulties of the past week.

 

In the midst of struggle there is joy. In the midst of joy there is struggle and pain. I’m often grappling with where my energy should be…how I should live between the two. It will be an ongoing tension I have no doubt. I think the answer, if there is one has something to do with being present with whatever is going on in your life at the moment and being able to let what may seem like contradictions exist simultaneously if necessary.

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