Professor J's Place

20 May, 2018

Pentecost, 2018


I have been furious for days.

 San Antonio has been going through its own Time's Up moment in the writing community. This is not my story. For a first hand discussion of this ugly situation, I invite your to read the blog post of my friend, Courtenay Martin. A google search of Bryce Milligan's name will give you some of the traditional news coverage. The way Milligan has been treated by some of the news sources has made me furious. This is a man who preyed on 13-16 year-old girls, and the press is giving him a platform to deny it at length. Time's up. I don't want to hear it.

Also, on Friday afternoon I learned of yet another school shooting. This one in Sante Fe, Texas. Eight students and two teachers were killed by a seventeen year old boy with a shotgun and a handgun. My first tweets and posts were profanity laden, I can assure you. The only positive thing I've done is donate money to some organizations who work for sane gun restrictions and to Beto O'Rourke, who is running against Ted Cruz. But truly, I have been consumed by anger.

But this morning I went to church. It's Pentecost Sunday. And in our church, 15 young people were confirmed in the faith today.

In his sermon, our pastor mentioned the precious lives that were lost in Sante Fe. And it hit me. I am angry so that I will not be consumed by the gaping loss of those precious young people. How can I face that sorrow?

I watched our beautiful teenagers read portions of their faith statements, and I was struck by gratitude that they are now fully a part of us. They can lead now. But I was also struck by how beautiful and unique and alive they are. And the unfathomable loss of eight lives just like these. Such joy. Such loss.

Today, on Pentecost, we ask God to send his spirit on, in, and among us. Oh, we need that. God help us grieve; help us love.

I leave you with the Charge and Benediction from today's service:

The kin-dom of God is coming because:
     somewhere, someone is kind when others are unkind,
     somewhere, someone shares with another in need,
     somewhere, someone refuses to hate while others hate,
     somewhere, someone is patient--and waits in love,
     somewhere, someone serves another, in love,
     somewhere, someone is calm in a storm,
     somewhere, someone is loving everybody.
Is that someone you?
(Our pastor read: "That someone is you!")