November 24, 2021

So, even in my old age with gray hair, don’t abandon me, God! Not until I tell generations about your mighty arm, tell all who are yet to come about your strength. (Psalm 71:18 CEB)

A Christmas parade with the theme Comfort and Joy turned into a nightmare on Sunday when a driver plowed through the parade route in Waukesha, WI. Among the 5 who died were 3 “Dancing Grannies,” a group of older women who didn’t let age hold them back. At least 18 children were among the 48 injured. It was close to home for Rod and I, as we were members of a church a couple of blocks away for 4 years when we lived in Wisconsin.

It is one more tragic incident in a world that often feels like a dystopia. I imagine that as the shock wore off, Jesus’ words on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark15:34 NRSV) expressed the feelings of many survivors and witnesses.

While I know the rest of the story that follows Jesus’ cry of dereliction on the cross, while I believe in the resurrection of Jesus and of the dead, as the Apostles’ Creed states, I am still left in a place of unknowing, of “why.” I have no good answer.

What I am left with is the desire and determination to live like those dancing grannies, embracing each and every day with fierce hope and joy. I want to live in such an audaciously hopeful way that God’s mighty arm, which also shelters us under a wing of love, will be the last word.

Even in my old age with gray hair – hope. ~ Anne

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