I reserve Mondays for poetry, but, truthfully, I keep opening books and closing them again. The loss of so many children and their teachers is too heavy, and I have no poem for you today.

My head is bursting with words I want to share: words of anger, words of lament. But I think it better to follow the example of Job’s companions: “they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him because they saw how great his suffering was” (Job 2:13).

Instead of writing, I’ve been listening. Mostly to this song. It asks a question I can’t get out of my head: is love alive? Some part of my mind is sure of the answer, but most of me is anything but sure.

We are approaching the longest night of the year. We’ve known it was coming, but we didn’t know how dark it would be.

The pace of advent requires that we walk through the darkness. There can be no Christmas without this long, long night. For me, it means sitting with my questions and my tears, without reaching for answers too soon.

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