Monday, September 7, 2009

Things are bad in Juarez. Maybe you didn't know that, or have no idea where Juarez is, or don't really care. I get that. I get that information is everywhere, the news is unpleasant, and life is overwhelming. I really get that.
And I'm not telling you this because I have the misguided expectation that your concern or my tiny blog are going to tip the scales in favor of those who are suffering south of the border. Which is to say, Juarez is in Mexico and the problem is beyond our comprehension, control and power.
The thing is, its really, really bad.
The thing is that people are being murdered.
The thing is that I took a phone call last week to hear a tearful explanation of how a friend's son had died from gun shot wounds to the neck and arm he had received while riding a public bus. That was hard. That was aweful. Things are really, really bad.
And here's the thing, that 'thing' being the holy, sacred or otherwise called GOD thing. As I listened to phone call after phone call for a week as this young man lay dying in an overcrowded hospital something was happening. Some thing. Some GOD thing was happening.
You see, things are bad in Juarez, but people are not. People without running water, who are surviving on less than $50 a week, brought money for a funeral. People came in the middle of the night, through war-torn streets to console their neighbor. People sat. People cried. People gave. People prayed.
And the holiness of it, the GOD thing, is that they gave when they have nothing. They sat when they were exhausted. They cried though their eyes have grown tired of crying. They showed up when showing up meant risking death. Death, that is dying to yourself, is holy.
And so the thing, the GOD thing, that has been on my mind is what 'your kingdom come' looks like. I am beginning to get the picture, the sacred picture. And as unexpected as Jesus arriving in Jerusalem on a donkey seemed to the Jews, I think God's kingdom is arriving right now in Juarez. Not in the violence, or the pain, or the suffering - but in response to the bad. Things are very bad, and yet a sacred song of utter compassion is being sung ever so softly behind, over, and all around the violence. To me, that is a GOD thing, a kingdom thing, a sacred beautiful want-to-be-apart-of-it thing.


Ross Christopher said...

great post.

Melody Milbrandt said...

Yes, Katie. It certainly is. I couldn't agree more. It is in these things - the scary, the sad, the pain, the poverty... that He often shines the brightest. Won't we all take off our "shades" and really see.

Bless you for this post. It is a GOD thing in itself!

Little Ugly said...

Wonderful post.

jody said...

i loved this. God is found in the hallways of suffering. We miss out when we run from it rather than toward it. Thank you for sharing.