When it snows in April: a lament for Eastertide

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It snowed last week. Tuesday, April 13. Snow. We just had a week of absolutely glorious weather- 70s, sun, flip flops. It was beautiful! And then it snowed. Ugh. It was a light snow; nothing “stuck” (as we say in Northeastern Wisconsin). I am so miffed, that I have refused to put my coat back on for any trips that involve a car. This is my own silent pronouncement of distaste for this sudden shift back to winterish temperatures.

And yet, it happens every year. We Wisconsinites get a blast of one warm week, a tease of Spring, and then, bam! Back to winter we go. But April?! No matter how long I live here (44 years, people), it still surprises me and frustrates me, and even saddens me, that the sunshine and warm temps are replaced with more cold and gray days. It literally happens every year, and every year my response is the same: “What?! Seriously?!”

Snowing in “Spring” feels like a metaphor for the state of our world right now. We get some good news then get slammed with another shooting, another vaccine issue, another racist comment … on and on it goes.

This week I am not feeling Easter. The more awful things I see in the world, the more awful things I can see in the world. Life and hope feel covered up by gray clouds and more freaking snow.

Gun violence. 152 mass shootings in 2021 in America… already. That’s more shootings than days. SIX since Friday. That’s just mass shootings involving 4 or more deaths.

Jonathan Tubby. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Ahmad Aubrey. And now another black man dead at the hands of the police. Duante Wright. Same their names. WHICH ONES?!

Picture a Scientist– I watched this PBS documentary with my 12-year old future scientist daughter last week, and she told me it made her scared to go into science. She was scared for her safety as a woman… she was scared to pursue science because of the misogynistic systems that dominant the field and the barbaric men that are allowed to run them!

Violence against women. “603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not a crime” (read this stat today in The Headship of Men and the Abuse of Women by Kevin Giles). It’s not a crime to beat your wife, the one you promised to love and cherish, to a bloody pulp?

Missing and murdered indigenous women- forgotten and dismissed by the justice system. They are allowed to just disappear and no one gives a damn.

Majorie Greene Taylor and her “America First Caucus,” for a white supremacist “anglo-saxon traditional view of politics.” Excuse me? Sweet Jesus, tell me she’s not a “Christian.” I can’t handle one more “it’s okay to kill all the black people” Christian. Is this even America? How did she get elected?

Reading an email from a friend, a person of color, whose heart is broken because he is unseen and unwelcomed at his own church. Right here. Right here in our town.

The more you see, the more you see.

And right now, I don’t know what to do with a God who either is blind or who sees and doesn’t intervene. People will tell you, tell me, that this is our job, that we are God’s “hands and feet.” Sure, but I can’t end racism. I can’t change the hearts of misogynists. I can’t rewire people’s thinking. That sounds like God’s job.

In an attempt to draw connections and make sense of all this, people point to stories of rescue in the Bible as a reference point for their hope in the “God who saves.” They show us Exodus and the freedom of slaves from Egypt, exalting the God who delivered the Israelites from bondage.

FOUR HUNDRED YEARS! They were slaves for 400 years. God let them rot in slavery for 400 years. We skim past that number. And during that time, hundreds, thousands of baby boys were dumped in the river Nile by the Egyptians. That is not intervention. That is dismissal, complicity, and cruelty. God could save. And he didn’t, for 400 years.

Where are you, God? How can an on-looking world see the God of love in this mess? How can a “faithful one” stay faithful when it feels like beating your head against a wall? Who are you God, what is your version of love, if you just let people be tortured, dehumanized, marginalized, victimized, and murdered. I honestly just don’t know what to do with this God today.

The psalmist always ends a lament with some uplifting faith statement, but I don’t even know what to say.

How long?

How many?

How come?

Don’t lift my head, God. Make it right.

Don’t wipe away my tears. Free them.

Don’t soothe my sorrow. Convict them.

God of merciful justice, do something.

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