Lament and Staying Broken

Moscow (Idaho) is a ghost town… in all the ways we mean it.  Violence struck at the core of it in a way that most felt only happens in “other places”… and the dead linger and even more so the sense of fear of what and why and when next…

The violence of Moscow rang out in Virginia too… as it has on so many campuses and elementary school buildings, and public transportation and… well bars and community gathering places as it did again Saturday night in Colorado. 

On Sunday morning when these prayers went up in worship an Iranian woman in the back of our congregation lifted up her voice in tearful solemnity, “they are killing women and children in Iran…. shooting them in the streets – and it’s the government doing it…” 

A friend and colleague reached out to me in particular about the Colorado shooting.  I’m an advocate and friend and parent in the LGBTQIA community and they worried for me… worried for my family… worried how close to home that might have hit. 

They all hit close to home though: all of them.  

She helped me to articulate that… to pause and feel that… as I start this day I recognized that I wasn’t letting myself feel the pain of it.  I need to feel the pain of it.  We all do. 

Why these things keep happening down through the ages and in our seemingly quiet neighborhoods, in particular, is far above my pay grade… but I can’t help but imagine that a significant portion of that is because we stopped feeling the pain of it.  And we don’t want to feel the pain of our lives… and so we just keep transferring that pain onto others…

Why do I tell you this story, Mary Oliver queries a the end of my favorite poem*, “so that your heart break open and never again shut to the rest of the world”.  We are experts in living like Pharoah – with our hard hearts… we call it resilience.  But I beg you otherwise… I beg you to bleed and whine and hurt and… break down and stop…

It is not ok.  This is not ok.  I am not *fine*

“…by the waters of Babylon… we laid down and wept… and wept… for thee Zion…”

If you need a partner in grief, please reach out.

If you need an ear without answers but a broken open heart…

I am here.

Please let yourself feel the feels in whatever way is authentic to you.

But you need not do it alone.

Moscow is home.  Iran is home.  Colorado is home. 

We are all our neighbors.  These are all our people. 

And I weep for the pain I feel for us all.

About Andrew Kukla

I am the proud father of four wonderful children, loving husband to Caroline, brother to three mostly wonderful sisters, and son of two parents that gifted me with a foundation of love and freedom. I also am a Presbyterian pastor and former philosophy major with a love of too many words (written with many grammatical errors and parenthetic thoughts), Soren Kierkegaard, and reflections on living a life of discipleship that is open to all the challenges, ups and downs, brokenness and grace, of a chaotic and wonderful life founded upon the love of God for all of creation.

Posted on November 21, 2022, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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