Wherever you stand – be the soul of that place. RUMI
Since the recent Friday morning when I woke to news of another devastating tragedy in Colorado, I have been filled with prayers, touched by memories and searched for places of hope.
Prayers -for all people who spent what seemed like an eternity terrified for their safety and for their loved ones. For those who died and for those left behind. For the injured and all the caregivers. For a troubled and dangerous young man and a city and nation numbed by the harsh reality of our vulnerable and tenuous safety.
Memories– of all the times etched in our minds and hearts when our world shook from these same kind of tragic moments: the brutal death of John F. Kennedy, his brother, Bobby and Dr. Martin Luther King; the 1st attack of the Twin Towers in New York City, the explosion of NASA’s Challenger, the Oklahoma City bombing, the fatal shooting at Columbine High, the second and devastating attack on NY Twin Towers –911, the Amish school children and teachers who were met with the bullets of an angry man, the shooting at Virginia Tech, and now a terrifying shooting at a movie theater in Aurora. Even compiling this list is unnerving as it is certainly not complete but too long as it stands. A list filled memories which lead to the familiar question; ‘where we’re you when…”.
Searching for places of hope–we seek solace and we long for answers. Our minds need concrete logical explanations for things that only float in the gray. The quest for answers consumes our airways with repetitive ‘breaking news’, interviews and conjecture. This exhausting dissection may appeal to the over-curious and heighten anxiety for many others but what comfort does it bring to the heartbroken? Where do they turn in such a time of confusion and grief? Could we become ‘the places of hope’ where hope is absent? Could we gently hold faith for people overcome with mourning and shock — carry their prayer when they are lost for words and exhausted by sadness?
As directed in these words by Rumi, ‘to be the soul’ in such places may seem impossible but I believe we are already equipped with all we need for such a task. The soul is at the core of our being, binding us to one another. Guided by the heart of compassion, may we help light the way with hope and faith.