Each day I get a daily prompt as a way to encourage me to write something and lately these postings has been one word. Today the word is “price.” Simple enough, price, it can evoke many thoughts, the price of a new car, the price of food, gas, just about any commodity we can think of, there is a price. One of my favorite statements from the television show, Once Upon a Time, is that “magic comes with a price.” Seldom do we get something for nothing, although we try each day to find that loophole, to somehow cheat the system. However, in the end we end up paying a price, the only question, is how steep will the bill be when we are called to account? Another terror attack, this time in Brussels. The scenes of panic, the broken bodies, the questions and the fear, all played out as the news media bring us up to the minute reports. Questions arise, is this payback for the capture and arrest of the mastermind behind the Paris attacks, will there be more violence, and what will happen next? In this age of instantaneous news coverage, people all over the globe now know what has happened, in some places there is complete shock, in other places some are probably celebrating, most are mourning. No matter what, there will be a price to pay, the only question is how steep will be the butchers bill?
The events in Brussels comes as the Church is deep into Holy Week. This past Sunday we started with the Palms and then moved quickly into the Passion. Some question this liturgical movement, going from celebration to mourning, yet what we have seen today is a stark reminder that events can and will take us across the spectrum of human emotion. Try as some might, we cannot escape the realities that are around us but that does not mean we are stuck in some kind of inescapable prison. To paraphrase Gandhi, “an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind”, are we willing to gouge out our own eyes just to get our pound of flesh?
Lately, the rhetoric on the political front has been acrimonious at best, and downright nasty at its worse. Maybe what we are seeing, nationally and globally, is a cashing in on a long forgotten debt and only now are we seeing the steep price being exacted. Just now a news alert states that there are no credible threats to the United States, we breathe a sigh of relief, but that does not mean will not be called into account. Easter will soon be upon us, the alleluia’s that have laid dormant during the Lenten season will be lifted up as we gather together to praise God. Yet, the dark cloud of humanity’s folly will hang above us as a reminder that we still have many miles to go before we to can know true Easter joy.
For now, all I can do is pray. It is simply all any of us can do when face with insurmountable terror. We can lash out, we can strike back with overwhelming force, but in the end we will just find ourselves stuck in a web of our own making. We cannot even begin to count the costs of what has happened, in Brussels, in Paris, in San Bernardino, in New York, in Iraq, and around the world. The price in innocent human lives is too costly, the blood shed to precious for us to just sit back and ignore. New life comes when we let go of and allow those false gods of our own hubris to die, Easter joy in the midst of despair, Easter faith in an unbelieving world, a price worth it’s weight in gold.