Instead of marrying his girlfriend, a man lies very, very sick with Ebola in Dallas.
An aid worker had his head cut off by extremists who mistakenly believe that violence will fulfill them.
And now another aid worker, who isn't that much older than me,
Justice has been reduced to a wisp of a word down in Missouri.
All my concerns about exams and perpetual singleness, all my fascination with chemistry and atonement theories and fantasy stories, stories, stories - they feel very small indeed.
No, in truth, they feel stupid. Shallow.
When people are dying, when a psychopathic North Korean dictator imprisons people based on preposterous lies, how can I dream of romance and idealism and mystery? How can I smile, even?
And yet what can I, what can we, do?
People are dying, and I can't help them, and it is killing my soul.
They tell me to pray. Why?
It feels hopeless. What good will prayers do when a body is too weak, when a person is too brainwashed, when a person is too trapped to save themselves?
And yet I remember that night, on my knees, screaming up at God.
I remember crying when someone was saved from death.
I remember not only that answered prayer, but also the epiphany of sorts I had afterwards: I can no longer give merit to the power of evil.
This isn't a dismissal of evil. It exists, oh God! it exists.
This is a choice, of sorts. A choice that says I am trying, desperately trying, not to let evil have credit in any more of my life. I don't want to cower before its blackness, to believe its caustic despair, to be enticed by its smiles.
I just want good, whatever it is. And ultimately, I hope and put my faith in good being God.
And so when I ask what point are our stories, what point are our hopes and dreams, what point are our smiles and laughter and weddings, I wonder if the point is the things themselves.
Because they are life.
Stories begin with creation, with life. Stories testify to life.
Hope keeps you hanging on. Dreams inspire you forward. Smiles and laughter, they celebrate.
They're all life.
And weddings - if even two people come together when everything else has fallen apart, death and evil have not won.
And so we will celebrate a wedding (like the Weasleys during Voldemort's takeover), because maybe in a wedding, a small part of the holy grace of hope comes alive.
|Kittens are life too. Don't deny it.|
P.S. Congratulations to the lovely cousin and her fantastic husband whose wedding inspired this post. :)