Saturday, September 30, 2006

Station Nightclub Healing

As I watched the news today, I saw courtroom scenes of families telling how the fire had impacted and damaged their lives. I saw their furious sense of an unjust verdict. I was saddened that this wound is still festering: over three and a half years later, still causing such pain to the survivors.

A while later, I happened to drive by the scene of the fire, now a semi-permanent shrine, with crosses and flowers to mark the victims. A TV van was there, interviewing families, who apparently had gathered in response to the courtroom drama.

How can these families find healing?

I thought too of the tens of thousands of Iraqi families that have suffered similar loss as a result of the war we have started and continue to provoke. How can those families find healing, even years after the fighting has stopped?

Some losses are so hard that we cannot contain them as we are, but must allow a transformation of love to occur in our hearts, in order to grow beyond the pain. Or else we break, or lead lives so dulled by pain that we barely live at all.

Literally, we must take the pain and do something good with it. Something so good that with it we can honor the memory of the one who was lost. Something that brings new life or meaning to another, given without hope of reward except the life-giving impulse itself.

There may be families who have found this healing. I would hope we could find these ones and tell their stories too.