catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 13, Num 7 :: 2014.04.04 — 2014.04.17


The trail of tears

Two major newspapers fall on my front stoop each morning, landing in the dewy darkness. My husband reads them first and curates for me what he knows will most resonate.

I can’t stop there or I’ll simply be putting on more armaments with which to bolster my own already-formed opinions as I continue to hone my worldview and act out of it interaction by interaction, encounter by encounter in my little life.

To let in the data as to how the world actually is as opposed to how I wish it were or demand that it be: that is a holy calling, incumbent on anyone who seeks to bring shalom to a city, a marital bed or a coffee date with a friend.

So I feast and gag on many stories of heartache and pain, both global and down-the-block, viewed from 20,000 feet and sometimes with my nose in the dirt of the pain if a writer has been brave and skillful enough to take me there.

We can’t take in as much pain as is delivered 24-7 through various outlets and vehicles. It’s neither normal nor desirable to be able to read an article about a child who has starved to death and to then covet the diamond bracelet in the ad next to her picture. It’s all too much. Literally.

So I engage a few news sources and then pay attention to what makes me cry. I note what fills me with outrage and takes my breath away. I watch where I scream out, “No more!”

The trail of tears is my criterion for where I will slow down, focus, hone in, pray, let myself be changed, if ever so imperceptibly, by the news. Then, most risky of all, I ask God to use me in answering the prayers that eke out with the tears I can’t hold back.

Skim much; it’s good to be informed.

But inhabit only the stories that threaten to take you down, that tempt you to return to bed or to drink or run.

And then go enter in, however, whenever you can… remembering that those acquainted with the resurrection are uniquely equipped to enter places of death where we do not remain no matter how bad the truth is.

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