We, together, lament. Notre Dame…

My phone is constantly, incessantly, bombarding me with notifications and quite often times I just ignore them. Today, however, it went off like someone important had been shot and killed. My first responsive thought

Dear God no, another mass shooting!

Thankfully this was not the case. Instead what I saw was news alerts peppered from all sorts of sources around the globe detailing that Norte Dame was on fire.

My first reaction was that this couldn’t be or that it would soon be handled. So I went on with my day at work and largely forgot about it. A few hours passed and again the notifications. This time I quickly glanced and what I saw had left me in horror.

I watched on repeat as the spire collapsed under the weight of its own framing. Those that know me will tell you how often I am at a loss for words, yet today I am.

I do however have a few things to say. I’m watching so many people demonize whom they call “other” and accuse them of vandalizing and doing something to purposefully cause this. There have been no corroborating reports that I have seen of this and so my brethren, I would ask you to show patience and have some empathy for those impacted. So too have I seen outpourings of love and compassion towards the communities that this is impacting. I’ve watched followers of the faith gather together to sing, pray, lament, and be in community with one another.

There are countless metaphors running through my head. Many of which are informed by the content I have been intentionally dealing with for this show over these past years. I can’t help but think of the symbolism of our church as I watch a symbol literally burn up and fall before my eyes. I won’t take this metaphor further than that though…you can if you like.

I also am reminded that change comes. Change is hard and heartbreaking as it comes. Change, if we will let it, will push us to grow. Painfully at times and this will most certainly be one of those times as we process this loss. We as a community need one thought as we press forward.

The form of faith you call home is inconsequential compared to love. The love that we display for one another is what will matter. Hold one another. Grieve if you need too and give others the space needed to do the same. As we enter into Holy Week know that Christ is bigger than any building and grander than any symbol or church cathedral.