At this moment, I am laying in bed, wondering what type of work I will be doing for the next few months. I’m currently taking a semester off, since COVID and online schooling really did a # on my mental health. COVID is still very real, and very terrifying, and I’m afraid that we are in for a very tragic Fall and Winter, which I hope we, and I, survive. Although things seem to be going up right now, we’re actually headed straight down, and there seems to be very few things we can do to stop it. Jacob Blake, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd… brutality is everywhere, and there is not a day that goes by where I don’t think of what pit we are in. I keep trying to think of solutions, but I truly do not think anything we do will be able to help. I truly think that the only thing that can help us now is God, which is Love and that the the only thing that can help us now is Love, which is God. Humanity has to look deep within, get into the Spirit, to see for the first time who they are, and where they come from. IF white people do not look back, do not question, and do not take accountability, the world will be destroyed. We will all suffer the consequences for a few. I hope this is not the case.
So – the world is in a drastic place atm. The United States might fall into a civil war. Protestors continue to be policed, kettled, targeted, arrested, and murdered, and this is maddening, while also being incredibly sad. My heart hurts for the people around me, for the cities around me, for the people whom have been lost, and everyone affected. There will never be words that can express the pain and suffering people have had to go through, and although there might be healing, things won’t ever be the same.
“A cry is heard in Ramah—
deep anguish and bitter weeping.
Rachel weeps for her children,
refusing to be comforted—
for her children are gone.” Jeremiah 31:15
I feel like this verse perfectly explains the state we are in. Ultimately, even though my gaze is upon the state of the world, my focus is God. I don’t remember how this came to be, but whatever has happened, I can say that God is the answer to what is going on, because God is in control of everything that is going on. He is in control of everything going on, not in the sense that he is causing the suffering of the world, but rather, that no matter what happens, no matter what we choose, he will use it all for good, because he is Love, and this Love is unconditional. God has made a promise to his children to never turn them away. The promise was that He will be the one to complete the picture, at just the right time, to save us all, to take us home, to reset everything and have it be the way it was meant to be.
But this isn’t all that God is. This isn’t all that Love is. Love can be hard. God can be hard. But we can be harder.
People often ask, “Why does God allow so much suffering in the world?” What people should truly ask is, “Why do we?” When God turns away, no one can find him. He reveals himself to whatever, or whomever He wants. No one can stop him. Everything under the heavens is his. Yet he loves us, and we are under his protection – better yet, our souls are under his protection. And there is great comfort in this. And this brings me to Rachel, who weeps for her children, who are gone. What an excellent metaphor to describe God’s relationship with humanity. In Genesis, after the fall of Adam and Eve, God (which I see as Jesus, because I am Christian after all) is looking for them. He is God, however, so he already knows where they are in location. Even so, the first thing He asks is, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9). Yes, my dear children. You are here, but you are not here. Where did you go?
Where are we? Where are you, whomever is reading this? Are you, yourself? Is it possible that you are not yourself? How can you not be yourself? What can this mean? Where do we find the answers? What do we do with the answers once we obtain them? What do we do after we throw them away? (Thank you St. Vincent)
Many people are living in spiritual darkness. The rapture is coming. Jesus is returning very soon. There will be great tribulation ahead. We will see the “hour and day and month and year were” four angels are “turned loose to kill one-third of all the people on earth” (Revelation 9:15). Even so, I still have God in my focus, for I have faith that my Lord will come with peace and a Love so strong, there is no possible way I could ever understand it.
Jeremiah the Prophet really is a person to look to during these dark and perilous times. For those who are going through great suffering, his words bring emotions to this type of grief and dread that not even Nietzsche could dream of matching. For example, let’s look at Lamentations.
I am the one who has seen the afflictions
that come from the rod of the Lord’s anger.
He has led me into darkness,
shutting out all light.
He has turned his hand against me
again and again, all day long.
He has made my skin and flesh grow old.
He has broken my bones.
He has besieged and surrounded me
with anguish and distress.
He has buried me in a dark place,
like those long dead.
He has walled me in, and I cannot escape.
He has bound me in heavy chains.
And though I cry and shout,
he has shut out my prayers.
He has blocked my way with a high stone wall;
he has made my road crooked.
He has hidden like a bear or a lion,
waiting to attack me.
He has dragged me off the path and torn me in pieces,
leaving me helpless and devastated.
He has drawn his bow
and made me the target for his arrows.
He shot his arrows
deep into my heart.
My own people laugh at me.
All day long they sing their mocking songs.
He has filled me with bitterness
and given me a bitter cup of sorrow to drink.
He has made me chew on gravel.
He has rolled me in the dust.
Peace has been stripped away,
and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
I cry out, “My splendor is gone!
Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!”
The thought of my suffering and homelessness
is bitter beyond words.[a]
I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends![b]
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!” (Lamentations 3:1-24)
Now, with that in mind, we can turn back to Rachel. Right after Jeremiah 31:15 comes this:
But now this is what the Lord says:
“Do not weep any longer,
for I will reward you,” says the Lord.
“Your children will come back to you
from the distant land of the enemy.
There is hope for your future,” says the Lord.
“Your children will come again to their own land.“
I have heard Israel saying,
‘You disciplined me severely,
like a calf that needs training for the yoke.
Turn me again to you and restore me,
for you alone are the Lord my God.
I turned away from God,
but then I was sorry.
I kicked myself for my stupidity!
I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days.’
“Is not Israel still my son,
my darling child?” says the Lord.
“I often have to punish him,
but I still love him.
That’s why I long for him
and surely will have mercy on him.
Set up road signs;
put up guideposts.
Mark well the path
by which you came.
Come back again, my virgin Israel;
return to your towns here.
How long will you wander,
my wayward daughter?
For the Lord will cause something new to happen—
Israel will embrace her God.”
Let us embrace God while we still have the chance. For our suffering will be rewarded. There is hope for the future. We just got to trust in God.