Black and Blue and

Of course it hurts.

Like the re-breaking and setting of a bone,
the debridement and cleansing of a wound,
the light and the drugs to kill off and chase out pieces of yourself that are no longer recognizable.

Sometimes a broken body needs more breaking before the healing can begin.

The hate, the ugliness, the fear, the violence, the pain, and anguish are not new. They’ve always been there. Though some may long for a past that seemed peaceful and comfortable, such a past never really existed. Not for all of us.

And as our hearts move toward despair, speak hope. Light is revealing what was in darkness. What was isolated to certain neighborhoods, to certain streets, hidden in the hearts of more people that we could have feared. When darkness has covered and reigned for so long, we must not be surprised that what is uncovered is disturbing and putrid. Think dumpsters, basement corners, rotting logs, and abandoned buildings. It has been there all along, most of us just didn’t care to see it. As hard as it is to hear the cries, to see the blood, and the truth, at least it’s out there, at least there are words and righteous anger. This is a step.

Do not fear the end, for this is certainly the end of something. Let us rather envision what the next thing will be. This is the beginning of that. Whether we close our eyes, block our ears, and retreat to our ideological ghettos, or we seek to understand the other when possible, and fight for a better country when it’s not, will make all the difference.

Today I read about Why God Will Not Die. The gist is that, in the face of undeniable defeat (i.e. certain individual death, as well as the eventual collective death of our entire civilization when our star dies, when the universe ends, when Donald Trump is elected, etc…), we will all, secular and religious alike, seek refuge.

Religion has been despised as a crutch for the weak, a bastion for cowards who are too afraid to face reality. But aren’t we all cowards in the face of this aforementioned truth? I just wonder whether Atheists think about death (I’m sure they do, but how often, and how seriously?). Perhaps I’m just weak like they say, but I cannot imagine a person could meditate seriously on their mortality every day, knowing that anything they do is basically random, meaningless, and doomed to be forgotten, and still maintain the drive and care and love that is required to live well… Isn’t a willful forgetting, (maybe the author of the article would call it “self-kidding”) the only recourse?

Christians have, in Christ, a vehicle (and redeemer) through which we can daily meditate on death, on sin, on brokenness, and maintain our hope in the face of crushing realities. Most prominent atheists seem very passionate about their causes, whether they be debunking religion, espousing science as a belief system, or seeking to convert people to their own way of thinking. I don’t doubt that they believe what they say, but I am puzzled by the zeal. Where does it come from? If nothing matters in the end, who cares? Those who have faith in what cannot be studied by empirical science have been scorned as cowards by people who cannot possibly be facing the reality that they, if they are right, are going to die pointless deaths. These are two responses to the unknown, only one of which strikes me as lacking in courage.


I hope you are happier now. I hope the pain is gone. I hope you know you’re not alone now, and that you were loved here.

Thank you for the reminder that we can never really know. Though we can see and touch and talk to and remember one another, we never really know what anyone is going through. I hope this makes us more gracious and patient, and moves us to express our love for one another more clearly and regularly than we had before.

Thank you for the reminder that it is a blessing to wake up in the morning and be glad you’ve woken up. That a love for life should never be taken for granted.


~ by justinhong on July 23, 2016.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: