We've been deluged with emotions this past week... pictures and sounds that inundate our senses to the point of numbness; heightened fear and loss of our sense of balance - of what is right and good.
I grew up at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I have always lived in relatively small towns - cloistered and secure environments. My sheltered life consisted of family and friends, acquaintances who always seemed to know "whose girl" I was (and am). Occasional tragedy would strike "elsewhere" - but I always felt safe. Even though I weathered some of my own tragedies I always knew I was deeply loved and accepted by someone.
When Larry, Caleb and I moved to the southwestern past of Virginia in 1988 I remember my daddy saying, "You've been looking at that mountain all your life - why do you need to move to the other side?" We laughed and I replied, "Just like the bear, daddy, to see what I can see." There is very little difference between the foothills of the Blue Ridge of Virginia and North Carolina... the accent's a little different :-) but the people are essentially the same: hardworking, salt-of-the-earth folks with a great deal of pride in their land, in their families, and their vocations. There's a trusting neighborliness (despite the ever-present wariness of Yankees!) that draws you in and makes you just want to sit and visit for a spell.
This week that changed. Many had to realize that there are no really safe places in this world anymore. Nowhere is immune to tragedy and chaos. Yet we have to keep moving in this world. We have to continue striving for peace; working towards justice and mercy. We must continue to look for the rainbow after the rain. That's our promise that we are not alone.
It poured today. I poured, too. Even though I still feel sad about so many losses and tragedies that struck my life this week - and those that were in my peripheral vision - I know the rainbow is there as are my beloved Blue Ridge Mountains. I hope you find your rainbow, too.
Blessings and shalom,