It’s hard to believe that one week has passed between the worst day of our lives and today. Every day I’ve experienced some version of ‘this time last week…’ But today was the one week mark.
During the same hours that were so horrendous last Sunday, this Sunday our friends were celebrating their completion of the 13.1 Los Angeles. Nearly 200 runners and walkers from our church have given the past four months to training and fundraising for clean water wells in Africa with Team World Vision.
(Ok, our roster says 260-something people, but for lots of reasons, not everyone could do it (myself included.) So if we’re honest we’re closer to 200.)
So this morning, after a week of hunkering down, Curtis and I took our first tentative steps into the outside world to cheer for them at the finish line. We took photos and received sweaty hugs and congratulated people who never thought they could do a half, or had never gotten that good of a time, or who just wanted to go back to bed.
Romans 12: 15 says to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” In her book, Bittersweet, Shauna Niequist comments that
it is so incredibly difficult sometimes, because when you’ve got reason to rejoice, you forget what it’s like to mourn, even if you swear your never will. And because when you’re mourning, the fact that someone close to you is rejoicing seems like a personal affront.
I’ll celebrate with my friends. I’ll do it because it’s the right thing to do, and because I can’t ask them to mourn with me unless I’m willing to celebrate with them.
More times than I’d like to admit, I’ve struggled to celebrate or grieve well on behalf of members of my community. But this morning, our community got this right. Even as we cheered for our team, people kept sneaking over to us, offering hugs and condolences. Rejoicing and mourning, all jumbled together.
And rejoice we must, because at this moment, our group has raised $89,078.54. (And I’ve had to change that number three times while I wrote and edited.)
That’s enough for six (and a half) deep water wells (which can support 300 people a day) or 34 traditional wells (each can support 150 people a day).
And in a very real way, celebrating this with everyone reminds me that God is on the move, like Aslan, compelling us to run, inviting us to partner with him as he makes this world right again. And the world will indeed be right again.