|I'm guessing this detail is from a piece by Justin Guerard,|
but I am not entirely sure. Help welcome! Photographed
at North Carolina Glass 2012, WCU
Am I more tender-hearted than I once was, or is the news of the day, bruited across the world, more terrible, more tearful? Hasn't the world always been shattered into sharp pieces? When I was a little child, our teachers made us crouch under our school desks. This, they said, would save us. Obediently we made ourselves like turtles, pulling in our arms and legs, bowing our heads.
Is this more dreadful than the events of the past century--men and women and children taking refuge in a church and being burned alive, somewhere in Rwanda? Is it worse than children being made to wear black uniforms and toss the bodies of other children on a heap of flesh and bone, somewhere in Cambodia? Is it worse than the raped and murdered and torched Armenian martyrs? Is it worse than the ovens of Europe, so close to villages and towns where people went on with their lives as though nothing strange ever blackened the heavens?
No, it is not worse but somehow the same, and here at the end of Lent I touch the edge of glass, the brokenness. I feel the pungent, oily human smoke in the sky because of a murdered baby in a stroller. I sense the spirits rising from the warm bodies of people no longer divided by tribe or language or religion or color. I know the ongoing sluice of murder and martyrdom around the world because of a mother attempting to shield a child with her arms, because of a bullet in her leg, because of a casual bullet flown to the child's head.
Love did not save that child. Day by day, love is martyred. Love is pegged to the cross, its arms out to the world. And we do not go out in the streets with ashes on our heads, we do not wear sackcloth and repent. We do not open our mouths in a universal howl of grief.
"You see what I am: change me, change me!"