This is your Great-Grandmother Whitney writing to you from the far away and strange land of 2016.
I know the technology you’ll be using will be so advanced that I hope you can still access and decipher a humble old Word document that is a letter from your recent ancestor. But I have faith.
It’s been a hell of a week.
I know these events will be ancient history for you, but for me and my parishioners, they’re brand new and fresh. We’re still reeling.
Last Sunday, a gunman entered a gay nightclub in Orlando and shot over a hundred people, 49 of whom died.
It’s the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, and in a culture where mass shootings have become agonizingly common, that’s saying something.
Then there seemed to be something in the air, because terrible things kept happening.
A two-year-old boy was eaten by an alligator. A singer was shot and killed signing autographs after her concert. A British Member of Parliament was shot and killed meeting with her constituents.
A dear friend of mine from childhood received news that her father had been swept out to sea while kayaking with family in Honduras. Luckily, he was recovered safely after 18 hours alone at sea in a kayak, but most of the people in the news this week didn’t have happy endings.
And the climate of fear and anxiety and conflict has filtered down to all of us.
In church, at work, we are struggling not to pick fights and bring up old grudges and tear ourselves and one another down.
The reason I decided to write to you was because I was thinking of my own great-grandmother. Continue reading