Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: Daily Pilot HomeCollectionsGod

The God Squad: After Newtown, 'be not afraid'

December 21, 2012|By Rabbi Marc Gellman

Carl Sandburg wrote, "A baby is God's opinion that life should go on."

Oh, God, dear God, what is your opinion about the slaughter of 20 babies and their brave teachers? Is it now your opinion that life should not go on? This is one path some have taken out of this darkness.

They say, with Franz Kafka, that "The meaning of life is that it ends." They say, with Thomas Hobbes, that "Each man is the wolf of his neighbor." If you don't want us to travel down that road of nihilistic despair, we pray to you now, help us to believe that the good in us will win. Even when our children and our hope are cut down like trees, help us to believe, with Job, that at the first scent of water, we will send out new green leaves again.

Advertisement

At the coming of this winter of sorrow, dear God of all our seasons, help us to believe that spring will come again.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote, "What seems to us more important, more painful, and more unendurable is really not what is more important, more painful and more unendurable, but merely that which is closer to home. Everything distant, which for all its moans and muffled cries, its ruined lives and millions of victims, that does not threaten to come rolling up to our threshold today, we consider endurable and of tolerable dimensions."

Oh, God, dear God, help us to mourn not just those children and those teachers taken from this life in the state of Connecticut in the country of America, but also, dear God, open our hearts to the suffering and deaths of other children and other teachers whose deaths have not come rolling up to our thresholds today: the children and teachers of Syria and Congo and North Korea and every place where children and their teachers are caught in the web of war. Each one of them was made in your image. Each one had the songs of their lives cut short even as they were singing them. We pray to you, as Lincoln prayed to you, that our hearts might become as large as the world.

The poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote: "I would like to beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles
|
|
|