Such huge issues, such displays of violence and malice in the world, seemed to ask for quiet meditation rather than a barrage of words. I have learned the names of two more street people whom I pass every day on my way to work. One, a young man who might be in his late twenties, or maybe not, is blind, his face a sad mass of scarred tissues. I'd been avoiding him for a long time, looking the other way, and feeling more than a little guilty every time I went by cringing, without giving him something. He was not, obviously, faking his injuries. And he might be Christ in disguise for all I knew. So I stopped because his illegible sign, scrawled on a piece of a broken cardboard box, was upside down. I told him, and then offered to re-write it for him. He pulled a big black marker from his pocket as I fumbled for a pen in my purse. I screwed up my courage and asked his name. "Andre", he said, so softly I had to ask him to repeat it twice. And then, to my own surprise, I gathered the nerve to ask him how he had lost his sight. "Gunshot," he whispered.
And my need for stillness and quiet to figure out what all this means in the world, continued. How does this happen? The bombastic political campaigns juxtaposed to the pained whisper, the hatred of strangers and the silly fear of Muslims in the face of families fleeing for their lives and their futures is puzzling to me. I don't get it. When did we get this scared? When did we get this nasty? Any celebrity or politician who raises his or her head above the crowd for an instant, becomes a target of ridicule and violent threats. I seriously wonder why anyone wants to be famous these days.
Global warming is a concern. I've never seen weather patterns like this. Since I'm on the "back nine of this golf course and heading for the clubhouse" it's not myself I worry about, but I do wonder what kind of a world my kids and their kids will face.
And now it's Lent. I got up early to catch a Mass on the way to work yesterday and got my ashes on my forehead, an outward symbol that the exterior world is not all that it is about. There's another dimension which requires and deserves our attention. And as usual, when my heart is weary with the world, I place my sorrows and my worries in the lap of the Lord and just hope He doesn't stand up.