Saturday, January 16, 2010

Teenage angst and the earthquake

In this farewell
There's no blood
There's no alibi
Cause I've drawn regret
From the truth
Of a thousand lies

So let mercy come
And wash away

What I've done
I'll face myself
To cross out what I've become
Erase myself
And let go of what I've done

Put to rest
What you thought of me
While I clean this slate
With the hands
Of uncertainty


For what I've done
I start again
And whatever pain may come
Today this ends
I'm forgiving what I've done
What I've done
Forgiving what I've done

"What I've Done," Linkin Park
Julie's iPod, 2010

This song captures teenage angst better than I could. I remember being a teenager and feeling the heights and depths of such strong emotions. So many things were a matter of life or death back then. Falling in love, breaking up, a bad grade, a worse day.Sadly, we have teenagers who need extra help in our midst. Do we see them? Do we recognize how precious and important these young lives are, and how much is at risk?

The saddest thing is that life and death decisions are so easy to make and implement; they can be done quickly, impulsively. They cannot be undone.

When a disaster happens, in one life or in hundreds of thousands, the shock waves ripple out and get bigger and stronger, and change people's lives forever. Yesterday, our small community experienced another such tragedy, when an 18-year-old senior at Floresville High School ended his life.

...and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch." Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him.
Mark 14:33-35
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" -- which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Mark 15:34

It's important to note that the Gospels offer differing accounts of that last night with his disciples. John offers up a night spent in continual prayer: Jesus prays for himself, Jesus prays for his disciples, Jesus prays for all believers.

Could these moments have been Jesus at his most human? His long, sleepless night, and the moment of his greatest suffering, when he is separated from a loving God. These are the only two times recorded where Jesus is anguished not for others, but for himself. He sounds like the loneliest person on earth. He could not have known how it would all turn out.

I have to add one more thing, one more word, one more heartfelt prayer: Haiti.

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