Live in the Light

Yesterday morning I woke up to the news that a gunman shot and killed nine people in an historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.  Sadness, like the rain that has persisted in my part of the country, hung over me throughout the day. How could someone enter a church and shoot innocent people at a bible study? How could someone be so filled with loathing that he entered those sacred halls with such malice in his soul? How could someone be so broken and blind and evil? The answers stall, and everyone just shakes their heads. 

We are surrounded by guns, hate, lies, finger pointing, and ignorance. We are quick to blame. We refuse to listen. We hide behind the Constitution, but I believe our forefathers would be disgusted and saddened by our behavior.  We claim to be religious, but spew vitriol. We are scared. We are sad. We are cracked. We are damaged.

Yet...yet...hope still exists. It pops up to comfort. It is there when the night is at its darkest. It surrounds us like a soft blanket pulled over us gently as we sleep. Love has to be stronger than hate. Our hearts mourn, but we desire peace. Even though life can be messy and often devastating, we long for that lovely quiet evening on the front porch swing. As Anne Lamott wrote, “We live stitch by stitch, when we’re lucky.” 

So today I stitched. I went to early morning yoga. I had coffee at a funky little downtown cafe, and I chatted with the owner about pie crusts. I washed my sheets and then made the bed. I sat down to write. I began to stitch hope for Charleston and our nation, because if I don’t have hope, the darkness will drown me in sorrow, and I would much rather live in the light and “stick to love.” 

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” ~Anne Frank