Which words should I use?
There are so many to choose from, it seems a shame to try to find new ones. Maybe it is a waste of time, even.
Can I just use ones from Columbine, when I wondered if we would ever wipe the blood of these children off our hands?
Or the ones from Sandy Hook, where I condemned our leaders for looking away?
Maybe the ones from Parkland, when I was angry and demanded action?
I found words for the school shootings and the terrorist attacks.
Somehow found something to say about worshippers gunned down in the act of sacred gathering; something about people murdered in Walmart.
I have drawn from the texts I inherited: do not do this, do not stand by that; always remember, never forget.
I taught how Abraham is the first patriarch and the father of the Jewish people. He is the husband of Sarah and the father of Isaac and Ishmael. God's covenant - that we will be a great people and inherit the land of Israel - begins with Abraham and is marked by his circumcision, the first in Jewish history. His Hebrew name is Avraham. argued with God to save just one life.
How Lavan's younger daughter and Jacob's beloved wife second wife (after he is initially tricked into marrying her older sister, Leah). Rachel grieves throughout her life that she is barren while Leah is so fertile. Ultimately, Rachel gives birth to Joseph and dies in childbirth with Benjamin. Rachel is remembered as compassionate (she is said to still weep for her children), and infertile women often invoke Rachel as a kind of intercessor and visit her tomb on the road to Bethlehem. sat by the road and wept.
I echoed the prophets who specialized in finding the words for despair.
I gathered the gleanings from my colleagues and friends who were able to be more articulate than I.
Or, maybe, there will be no words. No vigils.
No Letters to the Editor or Facebook posts.
No altars for candles and teddy bears.
No petitions, angry protests, or briefings.
No rehashing of homilies and prayers.
Just abandoned attempts at messages and sermons of consolation.
Just sitting and staring into the face of despair,
refusing to blink.
Foolish me, writing words to say that I have no words.
Knowing that I will share these words so that others will know that I have none that are adequate.
Foolish me. All I really have are words.