200,000

200,000.
200,000 lives.
200,000 precious lives.
200,000 precious lives lost.

Today, we mark the passing of more lives than our hearts can hold or minds can absorb. We mark the passing of 200,000 people – as many as live in Fort Lauderdale or Montgomery or Grand Rapids. We mark the passing of 200,000 people who had families that loved them, people who had plans for their futures, people who had dreams never to be achieved.

200,000.

We must remember their lives in all of their complexity. They were Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians; every race; rich, poor and getting by; kind, mean and messy depending on the day. They were all beautifully human and wonderfully made.

200,000 children of God.

We who carry on do so with sacred responsibility. Our national response to this pandemic has unveiled the deep fissures in the integrity of our leaders and systems. It has unveiled the fragility of our institutions, the slippery slope of a cult of personality, the influence of lobbyist money, the predatory business model of our television and social media, and the ease with which you and I can be divided against each other even when more holds us in common than separates us.

As we look to our future, holding their legacies and concerned about the world unfolding before us, I am helped by the words from Fr. Richard Rohr:

God cannot abide with us in a place of fear.
God cannot abide with us in a place of ill will or hatred.
God cannot abide with us inside a nonstop volley of claim and counterclaim.
God cannot abide with us in an endless flow of online punditry and analysis.
God cannot speak inside of so much angry noise and conscious deceit.
God cannot be found when all sides are so far from “the Falconer.”
God cannot be born except in a womb of Love.
So offer God that womb.

Keep the faith. We will carry on, in the honor of all who have been lost, relentlessly in search for a more loving and just world for us all.

We are in this together,

Cameron

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