Saturday, December 15, 2012

Rachel Weeping


Once again, we have been assaulted by an incomprehensible act of evil and children have become the target; children my grandson Josiah’s age.  Twenty children and six adults were the tragic victims of a lone gunman who, afterwards, apparently killed himself in a Connecticut elementary school that was worse in the toll of human life than Columbine.  As I write this blog, an investigation is underway and some details are sketchy for the most part but other details emerge, however, no reason for the massacre of children seems forthcoming.

And now, all the pundits will have their say, the airways will be inundated by opinion, newscasters will continue to report to the point of redundancy saying anything to fill the time, psychologist, psychiatrists, and experts in the criminal mind will give their assessment, and, like Columbine and the Aurora movie theater shooting at a “Batman” movie preview and, especially, 9/11, everyone will review it again over and over and over…and over.  They’ll hash over it on issue of gun-control, they’ll make speeches of how terrible it all is using the words, “devastated” and “devastating”, for the umpteenth time.  President Obama made an “emotional” speech with moving words of sympathy, and while I do not deny his sincerity, a couple of teardrops do not seem to adequately convey the genuine depth of the tragedy and loss.

A long time ago, I read a book about sociology.  I think it was “The Naked Ape” by Desmond Morris.  I was not a Christian at the time and it is not a Christian book.  However, I believe it was in there that I read something to the effect that the author is surprised that, upon reading the morning newspaper while eating breakfast, we don’t throw up.

Who fell on their knees and immediately cried with strong weeping when they first heard the news?  Has the love of many gone cold?  Who shared in the misery of those who lost their children?  Who cried for the children and adults who died senselessly?  Who wept for the emotional damage inflicted on the innocent children and staggering adults in that small town in Connecticut?

We say we are one human family, yet we actually do not feel much with others, especially their pain and sorrow.  A couple of teardrops just won’t do.

As Christians, we should be filled with much more of a sense of the sorrow and pain that others go through other than to casually remark, “Oh, my, this is terrible!” while we eat our breakfast.  We say we know Christ Jesus.  Yet, it seems we do not realize that he was a “man of sorrows, filled with grief.”  We read in the Bible that Jesus, the Son of God, wept over what others wept over in what is probably the most profound yet ignored and underrated verse in the Bible: “Jesus wept.”  The writer of Hebrews does not say that Jesus dropped a couple of tears over the tragedy of man but “with strong crying and tears” to His Father, and “was heard.”  The Cross is more than God forgiving us.  It is God’s entrance into the depths and utmost experience of human tragedy; it is God taking upon himself more than our sin but also our feelings of deep sorrow and unmitigated pain.
Now it is our turn to enter into His sufferings, that is, that suffering, which he experienced with others; for that is why the apostle Paul calls it the "fellowship of his sufferings" that which he desired to embrace.
A suggestion: Alone at home or when we attend Church this Sunday, let us put our program aside and take the time necessary to enter into the sufferings of those in Connecticut and cry out to God.   In this time of Christmas, Rachel still weeps.
In Connecticut “there was a voice heard, lamentation and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing any comfort, because they are no more.”   ~ Matthew 2:18