O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
(These words aren't carved into the communion table of a small chapel that overlooks Jerusalem - the site where tradition holds that Jesus spoke these words.)
A moment of serenity. If you've ever held an infant - which I'm doing as I write these thoughts - you know it's a struggle. Not for you, but for them. Their tiny bodies are adjusting to this world, one so different from the one which is familiar and safe. In one moment, they need a steady rhythm of burping, and in the next, rocking or bouncing, and then absolute stillness. They need to be fed and then challenged to expel the excess, and then comforted, without end.
And as I hold my own child in this pre-dawn hour in a moment of stillness, I read the news of the world, a world in such turmoil and distress. There's pandemic and paranoia and panic and prayer. The Body is in distress. And God holds us. We flail and cry out. And God holds us. We fight internally and resist care and comfort. And God holds us. We struggle to reach an internal peace. And God holds us.
In the past two weeks, I've held my kiddo and watched news reports. It's been far too easy to worry and fret - someone once told me that worry is a misuse of God's gift of imagination. But then I'd receive a text, an instagram message, a Facebook post, a call, a package, a visit, a meal - the Body at work. And God holding us. This week, meals and visitors arrived. Messages from friends across the country. FaceTime across time zones. A message from the UK, Japan, Afghanistan, Puerto Rico, Mexico, New Zealand. Former youth and friends of youth, pastor friends and distant relatives. And today, a hand knit prayer shawl from a pastor friend's church. And God holds us.
The country and world struggle. The governments flail. The people of media and social media cry out. The Body struggles. And God holds us. Know that. Struggle for peace. But do not forget who holds you. All through the long night.