A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing…                                                 -Ecclesiastes 3:5

We are left reeling in the face of the bitterness and divisions in our country, bitterness that has even resulted in bloodshed. It is hard to be optimistic when confronted with such hate. What is worse, it can be hard to feel anything at all: a steady diet of misery in the media can leave one feeling desensitized.

This is a time to mourn. This is a time to lament the state of humanity. This is a time to lay before God all the hurt that “Adam’s helpless race” is experiencing: corporate and individual. We will not be able to move on, eyes fixed on the horizon, until we come to terms with reality. Hope is not hope that pretends the world is not a dark place – that is delusion.

But we were not made for despair. One day the daystar will dawn in our hearts. One day we will behold Jesus the Messiah, and He will wipe away every tear. His Sacred Heart burns with holy fire, the fire of compassion for humanity. Jesus is here in the midst of suffering; He is here by His Spirit, and if we mourn, then He mourns with us.

The Lord is near all those who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of those who fear Him: He also will hear their cry, and will save them.                                                                                                             -Psalm 145:18-19

Now is a hard time to praise God. Now is a difficult time to lay our sacrifice on His altar. Faith and hope must look beyond this valley of tears in the expectation that life will not always be this way. In giving our grief to Jesus, let us also confess that He will give His joy to us.

and so shall we ever be with the Lord.                                    -1 Thess. 4