It is a beautiful day here. Everyone says so. On my local Christian radio station, they are singing the praises of this day, with its mild temperatures, blue skies and low humidity. It is a day to take long walks with your dog, to take your coffee or your iced tea and sit outside, to revel in it. Really beautiful days are rare. This seems to be the case almost everywhere, although I have only lived in a few places.
Meanwhile, across the world, in Syria, a civil war rages. I don't claim to understand everything about this, except that it is not beautiful. There is so much horror and pain and people are fleeing but finding nowhere to go. Just this week there was a chemical attack in Syria, across the world, and last night the United States sent Tomahawk missiles in retaliation.
When I was a teenager, it was popular to predict the imminent demise of the world. All of the signs pointed to it. Some people seemed to look forward to it. But I didn't. I just didn't understand that desire. I loved the world. I looked outside and saw it was a beautiful day. I wanted a chance to grow up and have children and write books and see the world, or some parts of it, anyway. I loved Jesus but I did not want him to come back, at least not right now.
Today, though, as I feel the sun on my face, I understand, a little. I still love the world. It is a beautiful day. I love the parts of it that I have seen: the Canadian Rockies, the streets of Paris, Mount Fuji and Galveston and Minnehaha Falls. I love the faces of the children in my congregation and our school, and how they all want to pray for their dogs and their cats, their dads and their moms. I love the people at the assisted living center, especially the woman who told me that on the song, "Love Lifted Me" I could replace the word Love with God because God is love. I love the world, but I feel the weight of all of the misery in it, too, and I want Jesus to come back and heal us, because I just don't believe we will ever figure it out.
I still want to make it better. I think we need to do things to make it better, even if I don't know if they will help much, or at all. Maybe bombing will help. Maybe it won't. I would take in a refugee family tomorrow.
Meanwhile, it is a beautiful day, and I still love the world. And at the same time, I catch myself in a one-word prayer.
Come, Lord Jesus.
"Hosanna!" It is the shout of Palm Sunday.