Category Archives: easter

Alleluia . . .

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

Christ is Risen, indeed!  Alleluia!

For the lost.

For the hungry.

For the homeless.

For the suffering.

For the abused.

For the  . . .

Terrorism abounds.  Lives are lost.  Families and friends grieve.

Politics continues to unfold in most peculiar ways.

Legislatures seem plagued with mean-spiritedness.

Thursday afternoon, as I walked to teach my class on world religions to 7th and 8th graders, I encountered the spirit of sorrow.

Out of the corner of my eye, as I hurried out the door, I noticed movement in the tented area just outside the food pantry doors.  I walked over to see what was going on.  To my surprise, I encountered a tiny, young woman, mid-20’s, matted hair, curled up in a tight ball on a bench in the safety of the tent, wearing only an athletic halter top.  I am not exactly sure how she arrived, but I did not see any clothes to cover her.  She looked up at me, completely unaware of her state of undress and told me she was hurting.  I called 911.  I was talking to the dispatcher and to the young girl trying learn what I could.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

“You know . . . I am hurting,” she mumbled.

“Where are you hurting?”

“Is she breathing?” asked the dispatcher.

“I am hurting here.”  She pointed to her stomach.

“Is she sitting upright?”

“No, she is curled up.”

“Is she passed out?  Is she bleeding?  Has she vomited?” rattled off the dispatcher.

“She only has on a halter top and she is clearly disoriented,” I managed to give what I thought to be the most germane information.

The conversation was three-way and confusing.

The young girl kept looking deep into my eyes.  It was as if she expected me to see the source of her pain.  Her eyes were hollow and distant;

the source of her pain was deeper,

more complex,


I looked back, her eyes surrounded by a mop of tangled, stringy, dirty, brownish hair, her face round and child-like. I looked deep, deep into her eyes.  To my horror, in her pain-filled eyes I saw hopelessness.  Only empty hopelessness.  It filled the dark void of her eyes.

“You know . . .”

“You know . . .”

“You know . . .”

She kept saying.

Her mouth neither frowned nor smiled.

She offered only a thin grimace

Of pain,

Of sorrow,

Of hopelessness.

The ambulance arrived.

Two EMTs, both women (I wondered if the KCFD did this . . . thoughtfully).  I told them what I knew and they tenderly guided her on to the gurney and covered her.

“Don’t let them hurt me,” she said, looking back at me.

I softly told her they would not hurt her; they would care for her.

I gave the EMTs the information I managed to glean in our short time together.

They bundled her into the ambulance.

The ambulance departed.

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

Sounds good on Sunday morning,

not so much on Thursday afternoon.

I looked into her eyes . . . deep, deep, into her eyes.

Forgive me, Lord, for I have sinned:

I saw darkness and my light was not sufficient to overcome it.

I saw hopelessness and my hope was not sufficient to fill it.

I saw the soiled, twisted body of your creation, beautiful even in its brokenness, and I could not save it.

She said, “You know . . .”

Help me, Lord . . . I want to know.


1 Comment

Filed under easter, episcopal, sorrow