March 30, 2013


“The force behind the movement of time is a mourning that will not be comforted. That is why the first event is known to have been an expulsion, and the last is hoped to be a reconciliation and return.” –Marilyn Robinson, Housekeeping

I shared this quote a few months ago, and I have been thinking about it lately—particularly about this “hope of reconciliation,” and what that means for my those in my church who are grieving.

Here’s what I can’t get past: hope does not cover over the visions of the swerve on a snowy road that means my friend’s marriage will only ever be 9 months long.

If I had one wish for her right now besides getting her husband back, it would be that she would never have to think of that moment, and its violence. I’m sure I will think of better wishes for her later—and maybe even have the courage to pray them—but for now that’s it.

Yesterday, I wondered what it means to remember the violence of Jesus’ crucifixion. Not just the injustice, or the sadness, or the ridiculousness of it all, but the ordinary violence. I didn’t try to; the thought has never seemed so ugly to me as now.

And yet I know remembering must somehow be good for my soul. I know that to hear Christ say to us each week at Communion, “This is my body, which is given for you,” implies a violence. And Christ showing Peter his scars means that this violence is not be undone or unremembered, but somehow healed.

Still, this doesn’t help me reconcile violence with goodness, or snowy roads with the end of a life. Things don’t seem to fit, and maybe that’s what “mourning that will not be comforted” means.


4 Responses to “”

  1. KJ said

    I’m so sorry for your losses. I’ll be thinking about you and your friend.

  2. lsling said

    And somehow…this blog post, even as it speaks of violence and mourning, seems to be yet another sign of God’s grace to us this week.

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