This evening I looked to the southwest, with news of the tragedy in Tucson on my mind, and this is what I saw:
I lived for many years in John Boehner's congressional district, and given the gulf between my political views and his, I have not had much occasion to quote him, but, today, this is what he said:
"I am horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff. An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society. Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured, and their families. This is a sad day for our country."
Indeed, our prayers are with all the victims, and not just in this case. This week has also seen the death of a local sheriff's deputy, followed by the death of her assassin, and far more tragedy in our nation and world than I care to try to chronicle. May light perpetual shine on the souls of the dead, and may the wounded, in body and spirit, know the healing presence of the Divine.
I, along with perhaps more of you than I care to contemplate, may be numbered among the wounded. Do not fret...I have had these wounds for more than three decades, now. The body does not always easily forget violence done to it, nor does the spirit, and so there are times when I am reminded that, while I have learned to cope, my wounds have never healed. The last couple of weeks have been such a time...a season without joy, in stark contrast to the celebration of Advent. And yet, through the clouds and flurries, rays of hope are breaking. I am bathed in them, and it is very good. I look around me, I look within me, and this is what I see: life, and light perpetual, shining. This, in a word, is Epiphany!
Peace to you this winter's day, my friends.