Today I am thinking about the Assyrian Christians. At the beginning of the Syrian Crisis I listened on NPR to a woman’s testimony of life in the war zone. Her voice comes to my mind today, and I wonder if she is alive, if her children are alive, if she has survived. These words that follow were originally posted in September 2012. They do not do any justice to the Syrian Crisis, nor do they pay right tribute to those persecuted under ISIS this very day. They are not a belittling of atrocities by comparing horror to my quiet existence. They are, however, an attempt to voice the discomfort I feel, knowing that on this planet dark and light coexist. I keep thinking about the last lines of this post, Creation longing, the Spirit groaning, the exhale and inhale of life.
When the thunder clapped such that the walls shook hard, and my bones shook violently in my bed, I thought the end of the world had come. It was one of those jolt-awake impressions, where dreams leak into this reality and we don’t know which way is up.
I scoped the house then for frightened children, my heart trembling long into the morning’s dark. And when the violence passed over, I thought, “this isn’t–this can’t be–our intended life.”
So when Maggie said her grandma had said “an immaculate house is a sign of a wasted life” and I thought about the constant battle for balance I wage between domestic order and the richness of days well-lived, I remembered that fear-stricken thunder thought. “No,” I murmured with a glance at my table and floors, “the end of the world has not come, after all.”
The end of the world has not come for me, and it has not come for the broken voice I hear over the radio at 5 o’clock. Only, this broken voice belies thunders that are physical shells, and lightenings that are the literal explosions of all that this woman loves.
We are still here, this war-beaten woman and I. We are here and the world is still spinning in all its mundane glory; its shadow and mirth, its sorrow and joy, its violence and peace, its dying and birth, its tediousness and shock alike.