It is so startling to hear that 21 people who got up in the morning yesterday to go to school and do their work, never came home. There’s nothing to account for that kind of evil, except evil itself. In its wake, there is a spiritual disquietude that stirs the hearts of all who lost people they love. There are hardly words for consolation. Silence seems the best response. Or shall I say, silent prayer… at least in the moment. It is the simplest way to be together soul to soul. These are the moments for soul care, and the church remains the final vestige for this type of engagement. As Epiphany Christians, we are called to be soul singers of the resonant, resilient love of God, soul to soul to soul.
Which starts with knowing that the soul is soundless. The Psalmist reminds us: “For God alone my soul in silence waits; truly, my hope is in God. God is my rock and my salvation; my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken. In God is my safety and my honor; God is my strong rock in my refuge. Put your trust in God always, O people, pour out your heart before God, for God is our refuge” (Ps 62:6-9).
For God alone my soul in silence waits.
The soul is soundless. The soul demands nothing from the body. The body is simply the agent of a person’s will in this temporal world for a particular period of time, to live out, hopefully, God’s intention for each soul as imagined in the mind of God before creation began. Knowing and living into the ontological order of things matters most in moments of crisis. It is to know what key the music is written in before singing, so as not to sound tinny or disingenuous, or “it’s all about me” to the souls we are seeking to care for. It is to know that for God alone our soul in silence waits.
And yet, the twisted perversion of the human spirit is possible. We saw it yesterday. Twisted by the lies fed to a young man, turning him into a murderer, twisting his mind by rewiring his synapses in some tragic way; causing him to pursue a sick mission that cannot exist in the Kingdom of God; a mission that led him to somehow believe killing other people is part of some higher purpose. It is not.
We are inextricably woven into the tapestry of God’s divine economy. We were made to be for one another as created beings, all made in the image and likeness of our relational, Trinitarian God. The activation of this reality demands each person – that means each one of us – take actions to mitigate and eliminate the twisting of human hearts. Action is the response, ultimately, because love can only be expressed through actions. There are many ways this love can play out. Each of us has a venue through which to love souls, and it is our duty to do so. Crisis can be a fuel, sadly, for transformation.
I invite you today to consider how you nurture your own soul, for this is how we prepare for the unexpected moments when we are called to sing to the souls of others. I also invite you to consider how to engage and disempower the forces that pervert minds toward twisted missions of hate. Heart engagement, soul connection, rooted in love – this is our work as Epiphany Christians. Today we are reminded. Every day we live it out.
We will be holding an open forum this Sunday at 10:00 am to make space for conversation.
Peace upon your souls.