Monthly Archives: July 2012

The silence is deafening

As a member of a traditional peace church, I find myself taken aback at the eerie silence that my own and other traditional peace churches have maintained in the aftermath of the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, this week. Mennonite, Catholic, Brethren, Quaker … not one denomination has issued any official statement of any sort offering words of peace that I am aware of.  Not one peep. And believe me, I’ve looked.

What’s up with that? Have we in the church become so resigned to our growing cultural irrelevance that we simply see no point in taking a stand against the encroaching darkness of violence and fear? Are we so ready to abdicate our responsibility as a legitimate voice of morality and  conscience for the nation? Or is it that the traditional church is so embroiled in defending itself against scandals of its own making that it no longer has time for such matters as moral leadership?

I have to say I’m baffled. I just don’t get it. This much I do know: It’s not a good sign when the church fails to speak on matters of such sweeping import. If we are not going to shine a light into the darkness, who will?

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After the rain

The surreal palette wrought by drought, intensified by the afternoon’s downpour, glows luminous in the gloaming as I gaze up and down my street: my neighbor’s scorched lawn the hue of toasted wheat, bright and lustrous against the faded sage green leaves of the brittle lilac.

Cars rush past, many miles over the posted speed limit, hydroplaning through roadside ponds. The torrents came too fast even for the parched earth to guzzle. When they pass, and all is silent, raindrops patter softly as they slip from leaf to leaf in the mild breeze.

It has been weeks since it was last cool enough to enjoy an evening on the front porch. By tomorrow morning, every drop of life-giving elixir will be absorbed or evaporated, and the heat wave will once again torch us with relentless intensity.

Tonight, like the rain-starved landscape all around me, I drink in the tonic with gratitude.

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Filed under Quick takes