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October 6, 2010
A Way Forward
Excerpt from Psalm 137
“By the rivers of Babylon— there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion.”
Reflection by Donna Schaper
What does it mean that a grief or injury is over? Is it when we stop weeping? Or is it when we start? Is it when we wake up in the morning without the boot in our stomach? Or is it when we recognize that there is a boot there?
What does it mean to “get over” 9/11? Would an interfaith center or Muslim cultural center at Ground Zero help or hinder the release into the new? What does it mean for a mother who lost a pregnant daughter in the 9/11 disaster to speak for Muslims now and to beg the press to stop the hate so she can go on living, without war or revenge? What does it mean for a fireman to say that the ground is desecrated if a religious center goes up nearby? How long do we have to long for September 10th of that fateful year?
You who have come through a hard memory know the answer. There is a way forward and out, no matter how severe the loss. It usually comes when somebody recognizes the loss and its dagger and its damage. When the fireman is really heard and the mother is really heard. Or it comes when we ourselves recognize the dagger and the disaster for what it is. A thief of our time, a thief of our life sneaks in and takes what we love away from us. Of course it is hard to get over! There is a huge obstacle in the path. Getting over it is not easy. But many do. More can. Recognize the loss. Recognize that the old Zion is gone. And that a new one is possible.
Sit us down by the Hudson River and the Rivers of Babylon, O God, and help us get over it, or under it or around or through it, whatever it is. Amen.
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