Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mourning With Those Who Mourn: mixtape

The days have gotten away from me.  Also, I haven't been sure what to post this week.

Today I figured it out.

I've been watching almost hourly updates from the disastrous flooding in my hometown.  From this distance I'm more able to see the big picture of the literal ebb and flow of water covering the region and the more intangibly measured emotional flux of the region's people.  If I were a psychologist I might be able to chart the peaks and valleys in some long-researched grid:  the adrenaline of anxiety to the relief of safety plummeting once again to the exhaustion of recovery efforts and frustration with the severe limitations of this new devastated reality. 

And I am reminded of the Church's needed presence in, yes, the doing of relief, but also the being of grief.  We are a people made whole by the physical life, death, burial and resurrection of God-made-man, Jesus.  Surely, Jesus-the-man, born into a specific time and place, gave himself to labor.  We know it wasn't just a super-spiritual fortitude that made him physically capable of withstanding the road to the cross.  Certainly, long years of sweaty labor prepared him to haul the weighty wood uphill.  He was Christ in flesh, to do the laborious living of men.  He became human to fully live out the blood and sweat of earth, but not blood and sweat only.

Also tears.

Jesus wept as a man as well as labored.  He gave the gift of both doing and being.  Often, we know he gave Himself wholeheartedly to celebration, feasting, rejoicing.  We also see him sit with suffering, mourn with those who mourned, weep.  

Increasingly aware of human suffering, both in the visible and invisible realms, I want to explore the means of mourning. 

track 1: photography

1937 Arkansas flood refugees 
Edwin Locke

track 2: music

Standalone player

track 3: poem

I wrote this in the summer of 2006 after a couple of weeks of mucking out Conklin.

there are no words

flood waters brown and thick with garbage and waste
sepia-colored stench
numb and sweaty faces of people whose
lives are piled in rotting mounds on muddy grass
and yet,
very few tears
(maybe there is no liquid left to cry)
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