Where was grace on Park Avenue today?
Things that disturb, grotesque things we cannot forget, the sight of things we cannot account for, and we would rather not have to: we would be more comfortable, not having these things in our world.
Today, I saw an unkempt, disheveled man photographing a miniature Nazi flag stuck into a small pile of dog shit. I felt a retch roil at the roof of my throat; it still does, thinking about it. Something about the juxtaposition of all those elements made the entire scene too grotesque for broad daylight. It sickened the sweet spring day, stained it with disgust. And, then, the most graceless sight I have ever seen--a man yelling threateningly at a small boy--so small, just a head taller than the man's pitbull. The child's fresh, smooth face lined with tension, stoic anger hiding his fear, a coat of toughness protecting his fragile child soul.
It is unfair. It is cruelly unjust and terribly, awfully wrong that we live in a world where a small child has to be so on his own that he has to face the world with a fighting stance and a tough face. It is unfair, I keep thinking over and over to myself. It is not right that this could ever happen. It should never be that a child is treated like that. What I saw was wrong. It should not, ought not to be true. And yet it was.
Such ugly truths should not exist. And yet they do. All these ugly moments happened today. I witnessed them.
I know there is an answer to this question--
I suppose, I trust, I believe, there is an answer to this question--
but for today, I think, I will allow it to remain just that, just a question--
acknowledging the great gash of pain that is this child's face--
acknowledging the gorge that rose and choked me--
acknowledging that grace is more mysterious and powerful, more wild and painful than I can truly comprehend--
I will not bring grace down to my level today, but let the question linger, beckoning my mind into the mystery:
where is grace in all that?