14 August 2014

Uncertainty (again)

"Uncertainty," sings Isaac Slade, "is killing me." (The Fray, "Uncertainty.") And, not for the first time, uncertainty rates a mention in this blog simply because of the times we're living in. Will the Gaza truce hold and some semblance of recovery begin? What will happen with the Russian aid caravan to eastern Ukraine? (And what about the apparent Russian military convoy also spotted entering Ukraine?) Will truth prevail in Ferguson, Missouri? What will happen to Iraq's minorities? Can local quarantines finally stop the ravages of the Ebola virus?

All this goes on while Judy and I are in a retreat center in Fresno, California, where neither the floods to the west nor the forest fires to the north are a threat. (However, a long-standing drought makes water supplies uncertain.) To be honest, I'm very grateful for this respite from the tensions and information wars of our recent past. But I also feel frustratingly far from being able to keep company with our more directly affected friends and neighbors.

For now, I've decided not to search for an artificial certainty to proclaim, in the midst of all this global instability. If I feel any certainty at all, this doesn't feel like a time for a glib display of it. It feels like a time to hold this uncertainty in the light, to walk with uncertain people, to pray through the uncertainty, to honor the anxious questions we see in people's faces, and to remember the power of silence. Maybe for now that's as good a way as I have of sharing the Cross.

Are you by any chance in Sacramento, California, this weekend? Judy and I will be visiting Friends Community Church Sacramento on Sunday. A week later we'll be visiting Berkeley Friends Church.

Colin Chapman tries "to make sense of Gaza."

A letter from Jean Zaru of Ramallah Friends Meeting.

What Michael Brown's death and the ensuing protests look like in Russia.

"When Black Victims Become Trending Hashtags."

"Taking a break from work is a powerful time of refraining from power."

Alabama Shakes with Steve Cropper, "Born Under a Bad Sign."

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