God’s Heart Was Grieved

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

God’s heart was grieved. God looked around at the wickedness of humankind and saw that human hearts were filled with evil. And God was sorry that God had made them. (Genesis 6: 5-11) In the  first chapters of  Genesis, we read about the beauty of God’s creation: rivers, mountains, birds, flowers. God is delighted with humanity and wants the earth creatures to have companions — male and female. But four chapters into the story of our beginnings, God is already upset with God’s own beautiful creation. What made God so upset? Violence! The people were violent.

I remembered this part of scripture on Wednesday afternoon when I watched mobs of folks storm our beautiful national capital building. It is a place that inspires awe and wonder. Two years ago I traveled there and stood outside in the evening light and took photos with fellow clergy at a conference. We stood there marveling at all the history it represents and all the hope that it embodies not just for our country but for the people around the globe who long for freedom. Suddenly on Wednesday, it became a place of fear and destruction. Senators hiding under desks. Staffers in closets. Statues and paintings ruined. Blood of a woman spilled. I was shocked and stunned and almost paralyzed with an inability to process what I was seeing.

Later in the evening, I was inspired by the speeches on the floor of the Senate. Shaken Republicans, Democrats and Independents spoke with one heart and one mind about the essence of our shared values.

I am still processing what we have witnessed in this democracy we call home. I take some comfort in knowing that God’s heart surely grieves for this violence as God always does when we destroy each other with words and deeds that tear down. But at the end of that story in Genesis, God sends a rainbow. God changes God’s mind. God does not destroy humanity, but God makes a promise to go with the people, loving them all the way through life. And so I am hopeful, that we too can rebuild trust in each other and in this common journey of freedom that allows us to vehemently disagree with each other while continuing to love and respect one another.

Grace and Peace,

Carla Aday