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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Good Grief?

Good Grief?

Can grief ever be good? Where did such an expression originate? I could probably find out on Google but I’m not going to spend time checking it out.

A baby who didn’t live to see her mother’s or father’s faces, but instead opened her eyes onto the face of Jesus. Tragic, sad, and yet with a happy ending for her.  Good grief?

Sewing yet more curtains last night; code for watching some television. And what I saw filled me with grief.

Grief for the poor in America. The forgotten poor. A man who can’t afford to get an operation because the price is four years’ salary to him. Four years. $20,000. Four years. And this in the USA. So he left the hospital, without the surgery, to go back to work. He was stoic. His wife was in tears. He’s probably dead by now. Why aren’t the vocal Christians standing by these poor people?

Grief for the poor in America. Living in Tent Cities on the outskirts of all the big cities. Including Detroit, not known for its gentle winters. The homeless shelters are so overcrowded that some residents in Detroit’s Tent City have been there a full year. The directors of the homeless shelters regularly refer newly homeless out to Tent Cities. What’s the difference between these Tent Cities and the IDP camps in so many warring nations around the world? How can this happen in such a rich country?

Grief for the destruction of 95% of America’s natural forests. Grief for those peaceful protestors whose voices were ignored, and who, when staging a resistance to the felling of 500-year-old trees in Oregon, were soaked in pepper spray administered straight  into their eyes and other sensitive body parts by the police. For those who finally broke, in frustration at the impotence of their resistance, and then broke the law and burned down a couple of buildings. Not that I condone arson. But the guy who has admitted burning down two buildings is looking at a life sentence plus 350 years! (What?) A peaceful guy, who loves nature and lost it when he was ignored when he tried to protect it.  Now he, like Abu Qatada, is under house arrest until his case is heard, unless he ‘co-operates’ and implicates others.

Grief for the uncharged and yet still unreleased prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, despite Obama’s election promises four years ago. Grief not because I know or think they’re innocent, but because they are imprisoned by a government who proclaim liberty and justice for all, and no imprisonment without charges being filed. Is that a joke?

Grief when I see the quality of candidates running for President of this great nation. Where are the men and women of stature and of vision? 

Grief for this once great nation, ‘One nation, under God’. Really? Where is God in a nation that doesn’t provide basic healthcare for its poor, that is prepared to disregard natural beauty if a buck can be made from it, that no longer assumes a person is innocent until proven guilty, that can’t field a candidate with moral stature possibly because no such person with enough money exists?

My grief, like that of those sad, bereft parents, doesn’t feel good at all. I’m going to strike that stupid expression from my vocabulary.

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