Tuesday, April 07, 2009

HOPE: in short supply today

I was outside re-parking our car on our parking-lot-esque street last night when my across-the-street neighbor came up to me in the sunset light to share that their daughter had been murdered on Sunday night. Horrified I didn't know what to do. Then I learned that it was her husband that shot her, killing her instantly, in her sleep and then killed himself. The story broke in the Oakland Tribune today [couple dies in apparent suicide]. I didn't know how to respond. I couldn't believe. We talked in the street in the emerging darkness of the horrific event, the unexplainable murder and suicide and the unjust death of my neighbor's daughter and best friend. I don't understand. I don't understand the selfishness. Why kill others when you are despairing, lost and giving up on life. It's not just in Oakland either that this is happening....it's happened nearly half a dozen times across the country in the past week [Oakland Tribune: String of shootings in the US].

What hope do we have in the face of the economic melt-down, emerging fear and growing despair that things won't and can't get better? What is happening in our country, and the city I call home: Oakland - seized by fear, dominated by mental-illness and despair, disbelieving that things can get better, let alone change. For me, faith is the answer - belief in a resurrection event that changes all things - yet does that translate? Do we live that? How can despair and darkness have such a grip upon us today? In an increasingly agnostic world - what gives us - what gives you - faith, not just in yourself or in your neighbors, but in yourself?

2 comments:

susannah said...

great questions monte. don't know that i have answers- especially to the living of it part. i WANT to...

Leila Abu-Saba said...

I've been wrestling with this for years on my main blog. Here are some of my answers:

http://bedouina.typepad.com/doves_eye/2008/10/hello-kind-world.html

A post specifically about the recent police shootings in Oakland, among other tragedies in my many neighborhoods:

http://bedouina.typepad.com/doves_eye/2009/03/911-oakland-miehmieh.html

and a post about my own family's struggles with war and tragedy, and the hope that arises:

http://bedouina.typepad.com/doves_eye/2008/11/freewrite-heartbroken-for-lebanon.html

Thank you for your wonderful blog, Pastor Monte.