Day 27–Again, we at St. Paul’s face another red vestment weekend, honoring those martyred by gun violence in our country. Every Sunday in Lent has been red save one. Is there no end to this chaos, this tragedy, this violence, this abuse? Sadly, I think not. Wednesday a young woman, eight months pregnant was shot and killed, violently and without mercy. This young woman’s mother reported they had been wondering what they would call this young child to be, what name would be attached to the possibilities of its life. The baby unborn, died nameless. Each person martyred by our gun culture, in our local tragedy and in Pittsburgh as well as the other 57 persons who died by gun violence in our country since Tuesday, had stories yet to tell, lives yet to live.
Sometimes I despair. Sometimes I wonder where God is in this craziness. Sometimes my faith seems insufficient to the task of serving God’s higher calling to humanity. Sometimes I wonder if we deserve the beloved community of grace and mercy and love.
Years ago, I discovered a Scottish poet named David Whyte. Whenever I find myself tripping headlong into the abyss of hopelessness, I remember this simple poem of faith. I offer it to you if you too find yourself overwhelmed by the bleakness of this moment.
(read by David Whyte)
I want to write about faith,
about the way the moon rises
over cold snow, night after night,
faithful even as it fades from fullness,
slowly becoming that last curving and impossible
sliver of light before the final darkness.
But I have no faith myself
I refuse it even the smallest entry.
Let this then, my small poem,
like a new moon, slender and barely open,
be the first prayer that opens me to faith.
— David Whyte
from Where Many Rivers Meet
©2007 Many Rivers Press
Daily Lectionary: http://www.lectionarypage.net/WeekdaysOfLent/FridayFourthWeek.html