I sat in a small church on San Antonio's deep east side this morning and watched people cry. So many diverse people in such a small room, weeping and hugging and praying. So many people sharing, saying so many wonderful things about a ten year old boy, born with seemingly no future. So many words he must have wanted to say but couldn't, yet still he obviously profoundly affected so many.
I turned off the radio, saddened not by the recap of a speech a man had made, but by the fact that he had to make it all.
So many real issues, so many ambitions, so few spines.
I thought how so many people might have taken a real interest in our nation if the "so very many people" who claim themselves capable of leading our country had demanded to stand next to this one man, on this one day and say so few words in unison despite their differences on so many issues.
I thought what would the reaction have been if they had simply said, "If this is what politics has come to we want to stand in solidarity, so many with the same ambition but diverse ideas on this one day speaking clearly with one voice to state: Personal faith should and will always rise above politics, this speech should shame us. If we are to preach tolerance, we must practice it and honestly we believe the American people are educated enough to discern not only what defines a sincere faith, but also the constitutional separation between a President's responsibilities and that individual's personal relationship with God. We'd like to move the country forward toward far more relevant issues, and once this silly, sad and sidetracking speech is done, we hope you'll pay attention to all of us...because we have so many more important things to discuss."
So many day dreams...so few statesmen.
After the funeral, we spent the afternoon and most of the evening with our friend whose wife died in late August, but who only now is really addressing the first stage of grief, having been robbed of that privilege in the immediate hours following his wife's death.
So many questions he asked...so much pain he displayed.
So many times I said, "You are supposed to feel this way...this is grief, this is loss, this is natural...this is death."
So many times, in so many different ways I tried to say, "Don't let anyone, including yourself, rob you of your heart, and your memories. Hang on, get through this...she will remain 'alive' inside you for so many more years...so many good years. Survive this, surrender nothing...to this pain, this anger...this gaping wound of sorrow."
So many times...I hear so much being said by those who say nothing, yet at the same time I see so many being touched by those about which so little has been said.
So much for this day...it was good, I think ...so very good.
Then again, maybe mine are just so many empty words.
In tribute to Griffin and Dallas.
Someday, so many will understand.
"'I am the way, the truth, and the life.' When we wrench that language loose from its moorings and use it to separate ourselves from our neighbors, we deform the good news of God in Christ. We turn the way of servanthood into a way of asserting our own dominance...The danger, when we do this, is that our insistence on Christ may make us less Christian." - Barbara Brown Taylor