Grief & Suffering

Back to normal?

Theology | A return to the way things were is a vain goal
by Andrée Seu Peterson
Posted 9/10/20, 11:57 am

"Return to normalcy” was Warren G. Har­ding’s 1920 presidential campaign slogan. And there was a lot to return to normalcy from. We had just been through not only World War I but also the flu pandemic of 1918, which infected a third of the earth’s population and caused 675,000 deaths in the United States.

The thing is that if normalcy means a return to the way we were before, that never happens, and never can happen. 

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AP Photo/John Minchillo, File

Death on the streets and on the screen

Grief & Suffering | Murder and cancer deaths are real. So is resurrection
by Emily Belz
Posted 9/03/20, 04:09 pm

A New York moment: Late last week I was on a corner in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, where a man had just been shot and killed. Someone had washed the man’s trail of blood off the sidewalk. The family wept, while neighbors came by to light candles and offer condolences to the man’s mother. She sat stricken on a beat-up office chair on the sidewalk next to the candles. Police sat in a patrol car on the corner, keeping a distance.

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Joey Johnson/Tulsa World via AP

Earth on our heads

Grief & Suffering | Twin calamities present an opportunity for deep lament and mighty pardon
by Mindy Belz
Posted 6/11/20, 03:30 pm

Nehemiah on the 24th day of the month gathered the people of Israel “with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads.” Eight Levites—each of them named twice in the space of two verses (Nehemiah 9:4-5)—stand on a scaffold before them, crying in loud voices, recounting their story, confessing their sins. 

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