Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Turn My Hardened Heart Around

Tuesday greetings from the soggy Midwest.

Last evening, after having had dinner with an out-of-town relative here on business, I drove him out to the Adler Planetarium here in Chicago, where one can find a fantastic view of Chicago across Lake Michigan. As I stood there, looking at buildings that have recently added white, red, and blue lighting to show solidarity with the "City of Lights," I couldn't help but ache for those who lost their loved ones in this senseless act of violence and hatred. Here is a photo I took last night.

Pope Francis yesterday called the fact that some of the terrorists shouted that what they were doing was in the name of God "blasphemous." Here are his words:

"Such barbaric acts leave us shocked, and we wonder how the human heart can conceive and carry out such horrific events, which have shaken not only France but the whole world. Faced with these intolerable acts, one can not but condemn such an unspeakable affront to human dignity. I wish to reaffirm strongly that the path of violence and hatred does not solve the problems of humanity, and to abuse God's name to justify such a way is blasphemy!"

In my search to try to understand all of this, all I can really do is fix my eyes on the Lord Jesus, a sure sign of hope in this moment in time. As Advent approaches and we take our deep, longing breaths to prepare to sing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, my hope is that somehow the Lord will be made present as that enduring sign of hope in our troubled times. I don't want to sound like I am walking through life with rose colored glasses on, but I feel like I have nowhere else to turn.

As Advent approaches and the Jubilee Year of Mercy dawns, I will be trying to figure out how God's mercy figures in all of this. This Christian life is often hard, because I look for answers where there don't seem to be any easy answers. As someone whose heart has been hardened over the past few days, I am hoping for an outpouring of God's boundless mercy to help turn my heart around.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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