Weep for the world. Weep for the broken hearted, the half hearted, the heartless and the two hearted murderers who hugged their own children and mothers and wept beside their own brothers and tomorrow went out and took away children and mothers and brothers from strangers more similar than they ever chanced to know.
Weep for liberty. Weep for fraternity. Weep for the encyclopedia of troubled souls. Weep for the neighbor and weep for the friend. Weep for a city that has known violence again and again. Weep for gutters full of blood, for world wars and revolutions and struggling families. Weep for a land destroyed by violence. Weep for lifetimes controlled by a blaze of explosions that are anything but glory. Weep for evil, for it is real. Weep for good that drops bombs that are not always good and please weep for suffering.
Weep for the downtrodden and the downhearted, for those who flee violence and encounter a world of violence again. Weep for those who are blamed. Weep for the victims. Weep for a people too scared to remember only geographic chance and maybe the color of their skin separates them from war-torn fate. Weep for empty rhetoric and empty promises and empty tomorrows that seem to stretch far into the night sky and break no promise of dawn—there never was one.
Weep for those fallen and those caused to fall. Weep for the many that will always suffer the decisions of the few. Weep for the bigots, weep for the zealots, weep for the altruists and the soldiers and the terrorists and weep for each other. Weep for your neighbor, weep for your friend. Weep again and again for your enemy. Weep for those the camera has not found and whose story has not been told. Weep for those for whom it has. Weep for pain and in pain, deep-seeded and seemingly steadfast. Weep for crazy uncles and scared conservatives. Weep for the despondent bleeding heart liberals. Weep for closed borders and closed doors. Weep for justice and weep for peace.
Weep for the children. The ones that are gone, the ones that will be raised alone, the ones that will be raised with the consequences of our yesterdays. Weep for yesterday too, because it always seemed better until it wasn’t. Weep for short memories of kindness and long memories of hurt. Weep for broken bones and bullet holes, broken spirits for the rebuilding of tomorrow.
Weep for croissants and good wine and small cups of coffee. For weeping, my dear ones, is not always a sad thing. Weep for open doors and open homes and neighbors refusing prejudice. Weep for those who find the courage to choose compassion when everything calls for fear. Weep for those who risk delight. Weep for the children playing together in the street. Weep until the same gutters are washed clean with saltwater and the small hopes gather in eddies with the rubbish, to be seen with those eyes barely dry enough to look.
Weep for the trivial decisions of the moment, of whether or not you should wear your favorite jeans because people wear pants in tragedy too. Weep for sunsets sometimes, but always weep when dawn awakens slowly in God’s morning light. Weep for promises of tomorrow, the ones that will be fulfilled. Weep for the truth of redemption. Weep for death, for oh! Where is its sting? Weep for sin, for where is its victory?
Above all, weep together. Kneel beside your neighbor and weep for the world, and in that weeping let us find a glimmer of something that promises goodness. Weep together, on our knees, side by side, pleading and praying. And then stop weeping. Look to your left and look to your right. Stand up and offer your hand. Invite a fellow kneeler to your home, open your door, set your table, break your bread. And then when the meal is finished, together weep again.
Matt Medendorp (’14) graduated with a writing degree held together by duct tape and a few trips abroad. Currently he lives in Grand Rapids, works for Chaco, and claims to be producing a book of writing and photography from his time in Alaska.